Residential energy storage broke records in Q2

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Energy storage embodies the symbiotic nature of renewable energy more than any other singular source. It’s like a jacked-up version of a pilot fish, bringing out the full generating potential of the resource that its paired with.

It should come as no surprise that as solar energy grows and expands, especially in the residential market, storage is right there, growing alongside it. This view is cemented by Wood Mackenzie Power and renewables’ new report the Q3 2019 U.S. Energy Storage Monitor, which shows that the United States deployed 35 MW of new, residential, energy storage in Q2 2019.

That represents the highest single-quarter mark ever and a nearly 33% increase over the previous high of 26 MW in a single quarter, set a year ago in Q2 2018. It’s also 41% higher than Q1 figures.

In total, 76 MW of storage was deployed in the second quarter of 2019, with this figure representing both front-of-the-meter (FTM) and behind-the-meter (BTM) resources. These 76 MW represent 165 MWh, with 83% of all MWh coming from BTM projects. California’s residential market accounted for 23% of all MWh deployed in the quarter at 39.2 MW, the most of any state and followed by Hawaii at 10.7 MWh and the PJM service area excluding New Jersey at 3.7  MW.

While residential storage is booming like never before, that success is not matched by the remaining sectors, though that does depend on how one defines success. This is because year-over-year energy storage deployments are up 20%, however the market fell 49% quarter-over-quarter. This Fall is mostly driven by a stagnation in FTM deployment, as residential/nonresidential figures are modestly smaller than their Q1 peers.

However, all of that doom and gloom is brought up just to say that Wood Mackenzie does not expect to see a downwards trend in future deployment, in fact the opposite is true. While FTM deployment fell 77% quarter-over quarter, the figure is still 17% higher year-over-year and the FTM pipeline grew by 66% in Q2, driven by continued large-scale utility procurements and developer interest in ISO markets.

And speaking of projections, Wood Mackenzie anticipates that 2019 will finish with 478 MW deployed, a 54 percent increase over the 311 MW deployed in 2018. Looking further into the future, Wood Mackenzie predicts that the storage market will grow by roughly tenfold between 2019 and 2024, bolstered by supportive policy structures and new opportunities for storage to provide wholesale market services.

“The long-term growth trends of energy storage deployment nationwide are encouraging and consequential for stakeholders, and for all electricity users who want and deserve a more resilient, efficient, sustainable and affordable electricity grid,” said Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of the U.S. Energy Storage Association.