SEPA: Energy storage interconnection increased 44 percent in 2018 (residential up 500 percent)

SEPA storage snapshot

The release of 2019 Utility Energy Storage Market Snapshot, a new Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) report, finds the U.S. energy storage market is healthy and primed for continued growth, with interconnected capacity growing 44.9% in 2018.

The release of the Snapshot report also marks the announcement of the SEPA 2019 Top 10 Rankings, recognizing the utilities with the most overall energy storage capacity interconnected in the year 2018 by each of two measurements, total megawatt-hours (MWh) and watt-hours per customer account (Wh/C).

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The report shows that in 2018, a total of 760.3 MWh of energy storage were interconnected, a 44.9% increase over 2017, bringing the cumulative energy storage total capacity to 1,966.6 MWh nationwide. Residential storage deployments grew 500.1% in 2018, non-residential storage showed strong growth of 34.9% while utility-supply storage remained the largest segment at 394.8 MWh and grew by 11.3%.

Key takeaways

SEPA energy storage market snapshot

• Investor-owned utilities (IOUs) deployed the most storage of any utility type, accounting for 64.3% of the total market in 2018, with public power utilities and electric cooperatives also experiencing strong growth at 1435.5% and 154.4% respectively over 2017.

• Of the 211 utilities that responded to our survey, 94 had at least one energy storage installation in their service territory as of the end of 2018. One quarter of those deployed their first storage project in 2018.

• The business case for certain lithium-ion battery storage applications has become more attractive as the price of lithium-ion storage assets has declined by 72.9% since 2013

On the Top 10 Utility Energy Storage Rankings by Annual Megawatts list …

  • Southern California Edison maintained the top spot with 154.3 MWh capacity interconnected,
  • Kauai Island Utility Cooperative was second with 102 MWh
  • Pacific Gas & Electric ranked third with 73.2 MWh.

Kauai Island Utility Cooperative also held the top spot on the Annual Watt-Hours Per Customer (Wh/C) rankings, interconnecting an impressive 3,037.6 Wh/C in 2018. Massachusetts based Sterling Municipal Light Department and City of Holyoke ranked 2nd and 3rd respectively with 523.1 and 341.6 Wh/C.

The 2019 Utility Energy Storage Market Snapshot is the second of three Snapshot reports based on data from SEPA’s 2018 Utility Survey. The 2019 Utility Solar Market Snapshot can be downloaded here. The 2019 Utility Demand Response Market Snapshot will be released in the fall.

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