US deployed 60 MW of storage in Q3, finds GTM

A new report published today by GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association (ESA) titled U.S. Energy Storage Monitor has found that 108 MW of energy storage was deployed nationwide in the first nine months of the year.

The third quarter accounted for the bulk – 60.3 MW – of that figure, far surpassing any other previous quarter in the nation’s history. The Energy Storage Monitor tracks battery deployment data back to 2008, and until now no single year has seen more than 100 MW deployed. This year, that figure was reached before the end of September, and 2015 could end with as much as 192 MW of new storage capacity added – a three-fold increase on 2014.

The third quarter saw the bulk of its 60 MW (53 MWh) energy storage capacity added in the utility-scale (front-of-meter) sector, where deployment reached 46.6 MW, representing 25 MWh.

Of this figure, the majority was added in the PJM territory of the U.S. northeast – a region that requires greater frequency regulation and short duration application of energy. Hence, the actual MWh capacity is less than that of the behind-the-meter (generally small-scale) segment, which is comprised of residential and commercial application that are generally used for medium- and long-duration applications.

Smaller-scale storage deployment in Q3 reached 13.7 MW, representing 28.1 MWh of behind-the-meter storage. Up to the end of Q3, this segment has now added 18.8 MW of storage capacity for the year so far. Of this total, 88% came from commercial applications, with residential storage accounting for the remainder.

GTM Research senior storage analyst Ravi Manghani remarked that this data proves what many had anticipated – that 2015 would be a breakout year for storage in the U.S.

"Even though we’ve seen PJM market dominating megawatts of deployments so far, Q3 2015 had utility-scale deployments in states like Georgia and Vermont," Manghani said. "Energy storage has started to appear in different utility request for proposals (RFPs) and grid planning across states, another indication that utilities and policymakers are getting comfortable with the technology and multiple values it can provide."

Matt Roberts, executive director at the ESA, added that customer-sited storage is also growing rapidly due to the fact that it is "reliable and increasingly cost-competitive".