Distributed Energy

SEPA’s Energy Storage Snapshot Highlights Opportunities in Nascent Storage Market

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US utilities interconnected 216.7 MW, 523.9 MWh of energy storage to the grid in 2017

The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) announces the release of the 2018 Utility Energy Storage Market Snapshot, the second annual overview of the energy storage market.

Now in its second year, the Energy Storage Market Snapshot relies on data and survey responses submitted directly by U.S. utilities. The 137 utilities that submitted data for SEPA’s survey represent more than 82 million customer accounts –or about 57.5 percent of the 143 million customer accounts in the country.

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Key takeaways from the report:
U.S. utilities interconnected 216.7 megawatts (MW), 523.9 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy storage to the grid across a total of 2,588 systems in 2017. By the end of the year, cumulative deployed energy storage had reached 922.8 MW, 1,293.6 MWh across 5,167 systems, nationwide.

In 2017, residential energy sotrage accounted for 13.3 MW, 29.3 MWh; while non-residential added 59 MW, 139.7 MWh; and utility supply reported 144.4 MW, 354.9 MWh.

The Advancing Commonwealth Energy Storage (ACES) initiative in Massachusetts has provided $20 million in funding for 26 storage pilot projects.

Storage technologies are being deployed in demonstration projects across a wide range of applications including aggregated behind-the-meter batteries, stand-alone deployments for ancillary services and load shifting, traditional-battery hybrid power plants, non-wires alternatives and as the key asset of a microgrid.

Behind-the-meter battery storage customer offerings are of key interest to utilities, 64 percent interested, planning, or actively implementing an offering. Green Mountain Power is leading the charge with two pilots: a Tesla Powerwall and a Bring Your Own Battery.

Solar plus storage projects are rapidly emerging across the U.S. as the costs decline and utilities leverage the capabilities these systems can offer. Salt River Project is testing a solar plus storage project for smoothing out intermittent renewable generation, while the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative now has a solar plus storage system that provides fully dispatchable solar power.

“Lithium-ion battery storage is a grid asset like none that has ever existed. Multiple utilities are testing the many capabilities of these assets in demonstration projects and programs including aggregated residential battery storage, fully dispatchable solar plus storage, and microgrids,” said Nick Esch SEPA’s Senior Research Associate, “Nationally, the storage market is quite nascent. However, state policy action and regulatory action are creating opportunities in local energy storage markets. Hawaii and California are the leading markets today, but Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Nevada will not be behind for long.”

The release of the snapshot is timed as a preview of the exciting opportunities on offer at the Energy Storage International, part of North American Smart Energy Week, September 24-28 in Anaheim, California.

About SEPA
The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) is an educational nonprofit working to facilitate the electric power industry’s smart transition to a clean and modern energy future through education, research, standards and collaboration. SEPA offers a range of research initiatives and resources, as well as conferences, educational events and professional networking opportunities. SEPA is founder and co-sponsor of Solar Power International (now North American Smart Energy Week) and winner of the Keystone Policy Center’s 2016 Leadership in Energy Award. For more information, visit www.sepapower.org.
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