September 4, 2020 Read More →

Wood Mackenzie: Annual U.S. battery storage installations will top 1GW in 2020

Greentech Media:

Even as the coronavirus pandemic sent the U.S. economy into free fall this spring, the energy storage industry delivered its second-best quarter ever in terms of megawatts installed.

Residential storage companies installed 48.7 megawatts/112 megawatt-hours in Q2, up 10 percent from the previous quarter, according to the new Energy Storage Monitor report released Thursday by Wood Mackenzie and the U.S. Energy Storage Association. That marks the fifth consecutive quarterly deployment record for residential storage, something that larger battery segments have never achieved.

That’s surprising given that home batteries are almost always sold as an add-on to rooftop solar, and the leading rooftop solar installers took a hit on sales in Q2 as face-to-face business ground to a halt due to the pandemic. Several leading installers saw solar deployments drop by 20 percent or more from Q1 to Q2; home battery installations bucked that trend, led by growth in California and Hawaii.

Commercial and front-of-meter energy storage activity tends to swing wildly from quarter to quarter due to the small number of projects happening in those markets. In Q2, commercial installations were down, while front-of-meter installations surged. That was largely due to one project: The first phase of LS Power’s Gateway battery came online in June, adding 62.5 megawatts to California’s grid. The developer kept going and raised the project’s power capacity to 250 megawatts in the third quarter, guaranteeing bigger numbers for the next Energy Storage Monitor to tabulate.

Ongoing construction efforts promise a massive second half to the year, which analysts believe will result in 2020 doubling the battery capacity installed in 2019.

“The year is going to close out in a big way,” [Daniel Finn-Foley, energy storage director at WoodMac and an author of the report] said. “We’re going to top a gigawatt of storage deployed annually for the first time in the U.S. market.” 2021 installations are on track to surpass 3.7 gigawatts, he added, which would yield a 7x jump compared to 2019. 

[Julian Spector]

More: As residential solar deployments fell, the U.S. home battery market powered on

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