US Deploys 910 MWh of Energy Storage with 225% Increase in Q1

In a sign that energy storage systems continue to make strong progress in the country, the US marked the biggest Q1 2021 (quarter one) deployments so far for its energy storage market. According to a report from Wood Mackenzie and the U.S. Energy Storage Association (ESA), the US added 910 MWh (megawatt-hours) of new energy storage systems with an increase of 252 percent over Q1 of last year.

According to the report entitled ‘US Energy Storage Monitor’, nearly 12,000 MWh of new storage will be added in 2021 as expected, which is three times the amount of new storage added in 2020. However, despite the decline this quarter, the US storage market still marked its third-highest megawatt (MW) total for one quarter only.US Energy Storage

The introduction of a stand-alone storage investment tax credit (ITC) in Congress was amongst the most significant storage market developments in Q1 2021. Excluding this year, a stand-alone storage ITC would result in a 20-25 percent upgrade to Wood Mackenzie’s five-year market outlook in megawatt (MW) terms.

Speaking of the growth of the storage market, “An extra 20 to 25 percent growth for the US market over the next five years would supercharge an already fast-growing energy storage market. The front-of-the-meter (FTM) segment would see the largest incremental growth, with an extra 6 GW of capacity expected through 2025, which is 25 percent of our base case market forecast. Without the stand-alone storage ITC, we forecast that the FTM segment will add 3,674 MW in 2021 and 6,915 MW in 2026, said Chloe Holden, Wood Mackenzie Energy Storage Analyst.

The report also noted that the US residential storage market set yet another quarterly record in Q1 2021. The market has grown for nine quarters in a row and broke 100 MW deployed in a single quarter for the first time in Q1 2021.

Speaking of the report, ESA Interim CEO, Jason Burwen commented, “As the leading voice of the US energy storage industry, ESA is thrilled to see more record-setting growth for the industry. This report also provides a timely forecast of how a federal ITC for energy storage currently being considered by Congress would accelerate our market growth trajectory, making the realization of our vision of 100 new GW of energy storage by 2030 closer to reality.”

Nevertheless, the non-residential market is not witnessing the same growth as other sectors, with between 25 and 35 MW of new projects only installed in the last five quarters.

“Backup power to complement rooftop solar systems has become the key selling point for residential battery systems in all US markets. Although other states also have growing markets, California will continue to lead the residential segment by a significant margin through 2026, says Chloe Holden.

The report also reports that the FTM interconnection queue stands at over 200 GW now. The queue is the largest til now and is a testament to the rapid growth of the US FTM storage market, although not all the projects in the queue will come online this year. the report showed a clear trend of the increased geographic diversity of interest in FTM projects, with a surge of interconnection queue requests sitting outside of incentivized markets.

There have been many developments in the energy storage market in the US. Recently, Hydrostor, a long-duration energy storage solution provider, announced the development of a 1,000 MW (1 GW) of long-duration energy storage project in the state of California.

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Bhoomika Singh

Bhoomika is a science graduate, with a strong interest in seeing how technology can impact the environment. She loves covering the intersection of technology, environment, and the positive impact it can have on the world accordingly.

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