United States installs 18.3 MW of energy storage in Q1 2016

The U.S. energy storage market is continuing along a roller-coaster of rapid growth, according to the latest report by GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association (ESA). Q1 2016 U.S. Energy Storage Monitor found a 127% growth year-over-year to 18.3 MW installed, which is also down 84% from a spike in the fourth quarter of 2015.

The market is also changing significantly. While behind-the-meter installations have in the past been a much smaller market than utility-scale, during Q1 behind-the-meter energy storage made up nearly half of all newly installed capacity at 8.9 MW. This is accompanied by an ongoing geographic shift in the market.

“After the rush to build and commission systems in PJM (Interconnection) to meet the interim cap in the second half of 2015, this year is likely to see a move toward California as the leading market even for the utility-scale segment,” explains GTM Research Director of Energy Storage Ravi Manghani, who authored the report.

“This transition undoubtedly be hastened by the gas shortage in Southern California caused by the Aliso Canyon gas leakage, and resulting energy storage procurement.”

The report also notes that activity is picking up on the business side, with Total’s plans to acquire battery maker Saft for US$1.1 billion dollars as the first deal in the storage space worth more than $1 billion dollars.

GTM Research expects the U.S. energy storage market to grow only 24% this year to 281 MW, however the company expects much more rapid growth in coming years, and for the market to increase to over 2 GW annually by 2021.