Energy storage market posts a decline in the first quarter of 2018, but residential installations were robust
Energize Weekly, June 27, 2018
Quarter-over-quarter the U.S. energy storage market dropped 30 percent to 43.6 megawatts (MW) in the first quarter of 2018 and was down 39 percent compared the same quarter in 2017, according to an industry market report.
This was in part due to a large number of utility-scale projects that came online in California in 2017, according to the report by GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association, a trade group.
The decline, however, masked gains in the residential and commercial storage behind-the meter (BTM) market, the report said. BTM storage accounted for 63 percent of the megawatts installed.
The 15 MW of residential storage deployed in the quarter were nearly as much as utility-scale installations, 16 MW.
“The BTM market saw growth across multiple geographies, with Calif. and Hawaii remaining leaders,” the report said.
Energy storage policies and programs moved forward in seven states. Colorado passed a law directing the public utility commission to investigate adding storage to utility procurement planning, and Arizona Corporation Commission required utilities to include storage in their integrated resource plans.
The New Jersey legislature passed an updated renewable energy portfolio bill that included storage, while Massachusetts issued an order on grid modernization in which storage plays a prominent role.
There were also energy storage initiatives in Oregon, California and New York State, where the utilities commission sought to expand the role of storage on the grid.
On the federal level, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued Order 841, mandating rules for energy storage in the wholesale, ancillary and capacity electricity markets. Several grid operators have begun the process of designing new tariffs to accommodate storage.
There were also some new BTM programs such as Vermont’s Green Mountain Power “bring-your-own-device program,” which offers bill credits for residential storage used to address system peaks, and Salt River Project in Arizona launching a “Consumer Storage Incentive Program.”
Going forward, the report said “solar-plus-storage is an important growth area for the future of the solar and the storage markets in the U.S.”