Powering Strong Communities

Growth in front-of-the-meter storage drives dramatic increase in Q3 storage deployment

A total of 476 megawatts of storage was deployed in the third quarter of 2020, an increase of 240% over the previous high set last quarter, according to a new report from Wood Mackenzie and the U.S. Energy Storage Association (ESA).

The new record for storage ”is not an anomaly but rather a sign of things to come as front-of-the-meter (FTM) storage procurements, particularly in California, grow dramatically in number and size,” the ESA said in a Dec. 2 news release related to the report.

While the residential segment grew as well, the major growth was in the FTM market segment. Nearly 400 MW and 578 MWh were deployed in the third quarter, surpassing previous records of 133 MW and 296 MWh for this sector.  More FTM storage was installed in the third quarter than was installed across all segments during any other quarter over the past 7 years. 

Despite relatively low durations for systems deployed this quarter, FTM megawatt hour (MWh) deployments beat the previous record set in the third quarter of 2017 by nearly 200%. 

Key findings from the report included:

  • 736.6 MWh of energy storage was deployed in the United States in Q3 2020, rising 179% year over year (YOY);
  • 475.9 MW of storage was brought online in the United States in Q3 2020, rising 373% YOY;
  • The new quarterly deployment record, set this quarter, exceeds the record set in Q2 2020 by 240% (MW terms);
  • The new quarterly FTM deployment record, set this quarter, exceeds the last FTM record set in Q4 2016 by 200% (in MWh terms);
  • In Q3 2020, residential storage grew 7% QOQ (MWh terms), setting a new record with 119 MWh installed;
  • In Q3 2020, the non-residential market fell by 10% quarter over quarter (MWh terms);
  • The US energy storage market is set to grow from 1,275 MW in 2020 to 7,473 MW in 2025

The report said that U.S. battery energy storage market is set to grow from 1.2 gigawatts (GW) in 2020 to nearly 7.5 GW (and 26.5 GWh) in in 2025, driven primarily by large-scale utility procurements.

Solar-paired storage will account for a large majority of these installations, and potentially the vast majority, as developers aim to capture value from the federal investment tax credit.

The American Public Power Association this year launched a Public Power Energy Storage Tracker, which is a resource for association members that summarizes energy storage projects undertaken by members that are currently online.