By - Jim Vess

U.S. energy storage installations set a record in the first quarter of 2019

Energize Weekly, June 12, 2019

U.S. energy storage installations hit a quarterly record in the first three months of 2019 with 148.8 megawatts (MW) of new capacity, according to a market report by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and the Energy Storage Association (ESA).

The first quarter of 2019 installations were 6 percent higher than the last quarter of 2018 and more than triple the installed capacity for the first quarter of 2018. New Jersey accounted for nearly half the capacity installed in the first quarter of 2019.

Behind-the-meter installations – in homes and businesses – accounted for 46 percent of all the installations, and year-on-year, the more than 68 MW of capacity reflected a 138 percent increase.

On a megawatt-hour (MWh) basis, behind-the-meter projects made up 60 percent of the 271 MWh brought on line in the first quarter of 2019.

“An increasing proportion of new solar projects, both for residential and non-residential customers, include storage as well, which helps to drive this market forward,” the report said.

Front-of-the-meter deployments were down 10 percent compared to the fourth quarter of 2018, but were up fivefold year-on-year.

California remained the single largest market in combined front-of-the-meter and behind-the-meter installations. Hawaii, Arizona and New Jersey also posted strong growth, according to the report.

State regulatory programs, such as New York’s Value of Distributed Energy Resources (VDER) and Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART), are spurring development of energy storage, the report said.

“It’s become clear that states are already unlocking the potential of storage by passing legislation and creating regulatory frameworks to encourage energy storage deployment,” Kelly Speakes-Backman, ESA CEO, said in a statement.

The New York markets performance for the first three months of 2019, where the first block of state retail energy store incentives was fully subscribed in a little more than a week, Simon Brett, a Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables analyst, said in a statement, shows how much “pent up demand there was in New York.”

The market analysis projects that storage installations will double in 2019 compared to 2018, with the behind-the-meter market accounting for 65 percent of the capacity.

By 2024, the market will reach 4.5 gigawatts, with front-of-the meter installations making up 58 percent of the capacity on MW basis.

“States as diverse as New Hampshire, Florida and Texas all have utilities pursuing storage projects to increase electric system performance and create value for both utilities and their customers,” the market report said.

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