Energy Storage

Utility Scale Battery Storage Growth Tracks Renewables, But is Even Faster: EIA

Utility-scale battery storage capacity is poised for explosive growth in the United States as it tracks and outpaces renewable growth, especially in California and Texas, according to a report released this week by the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA). 

Over the next three years, U.S. utility-scale battery storage capacity could reach 30 GW by year-end 2025, from 7.8 GW as of October 2022, according to the EIA’s latest Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory, which is based on data reported to the agency by developers and power plant owners.

Battery storage in the United States was “negligible” prior to 2020, but began growing rapidly, the EIA said. The growth of battery storage capacity tracks the rising pace of wind and solar installations but is even outpacing the early growth of utility-scale solar capacity, which grew from less than 1 GW in 2010 to 13.7 GW in 2015, according to EIA data.

U.S. battery storage capacity was 1.5 GW in 2020 and by year end it could reach 9.2 GW with another 20.8 GW expected to come online between 2023 and 2025. More than 75 percent of the 20.8 GW in development is in Texas and California, which account for 7.9 GW and 7.6 GW, respectively, of the expected additions by 2025. Both of those states are also leaders in renewable resources.

Texas has 37.2 GW of wind capacity, more than in any other state, and developers expect to add an additional 5.3 GW over the next three years, the EIA said. Texas also has 10.5 GW of utility-scale solar capacity and developers plan to install another 20.4 GW between 2023 and 2025 in the Lone Star state.

California has more utility-scale solar capacity than in any other state with 16.8 GW and another 7.7 GW expected to be added between 2023 and 2025.

As more battery capacity becomes available to the U.S. grid, battery storage projects are also becoming larger, the EIA noted. Before 2020, the largest U.S. battery storage project was 40 MW. The 250-megawatt (MW) Gateway Energy Storage System in California, which began operating in 2020, marked the beginning of large-scale battery storage installation, the EIA said.

Now, the 409-MW Manatee Energy Storage facility in Florida is the largest operating storage project in the country. Developers have scheduled more than 23 large-scale battery projects, ranging from 250 MW to 650 MW, to be deployed by 2025, according to EIA data.