Batteries, Energy Storage, News

ESA, WoodMac report: 2Q energy storage deployment hits record 168 MW in U.S.

Energy storage deployments achieved the highest second quarter ever from this April to June.

A report this month from Wood Mackenzie and the U.S. Energy Storage Association (ESA) counted some 168 MW of new capacity added in this second quarter. This was a 72-percent increase over 2020’s first quarter, more than doubled the same period in 2019 and was the second highest quarterly total in the sector’s history.

“We are encouraged by the growth the energy storage market has seen this quarter,” said Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of ESA. “Despite any setbacks from the coronavirus pandemic, the market for energy storage is poised to see significant growth in 2020. Looking out to future growth, we are confident that our expanded vision of 100 GW of new energy storage by 2030 is entirely reasonable and attainable, pushing us closer to reaching a more resilient, efficient, sustainable and affordable electric grid.”

The final quarter of 2019 still owns the record at 186.4 MW deployed. One massive front-of-meter (FTM) project in California accounted for a majority of the new FTM capacity added this past quarter, according to the ESA report.

The release did not mention the California project by name, but the 62.5-MW Gateway Energy Storage Project was connected to the grid around that period in San Diego County. Gateway is an early stage of the state’s ambitious plan to add 923 MW of utility-scale battery capacity by the end of the year.

Dan Finn-Foley, Wood Mackenzie Head of Energy Storage, said: “The U.S. energy storage market has proven remarkably resilient to impacts from coronavirus lockdowns. The commercial and industrial (C&I) space was the only segment that showed a slowdown. This was primarily because of a decline in the C&I California market due to permitting and other delays. We expect the rest of the year to come in strong as growing interest in residential storage, emerging new markets for C&I and massive FTM systems are set to break quarterly records.”

The non-residential market demonstrated more volatility than the residential market in the second quarter of 2020.

At 29.5 MW, the segment notched its second quarterly decline in deployments. Quarterly deployments fell by 7 percent quarter over quarter as the market absorbed the shocks from coronavirus lockdowns more acutely than the residential segment. However, despite the segment’s setback, it still achieved its fifth-highest level of quarterly deployments thanks to surging installations in Massachusetts.