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SEPA’s New Snapshot Report Tracks Energy Storage Market Growth

Utilities Look at Both Sides of Meter to Optimize Storage Benefits for Customers and Grid

Media contact: Mike Kruger, [email protected], 202-280-1556

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) announces the release of a new publication, the 2017 Utility Energy Storage Market Snapshot.

Like SEPA’s Utility Solar Market Snapshot, a standard industry resource now in its 10th year, this first-ever Energy Storage Market Snapshot relies on data and survey responses submitted directly by U.S. utilities. The 115 utilities that submitted data for SEPA’s survey represent more than 75 million customer accounts –or about 58 percent of the 130 million customer accounts in the country, according to Nick Esch, SEPA Senior Research Associate and report co-author.

The release of the report is timed as a preview of the exciting opportunities on offer at the inaugural Energy Storage International, which will be officially launched as part of Solar Power International, Sept. 10-13, in Las Vegas.

Key takeaways from the report:

  • A small but growing market: A total of 207 MW, 257 MWh of energy storage came online across the country in 2016. This is enough to keep 28.5 million 9-watt LED light bulbs on for an hour.
    • There is a cumulative deployment of 622 MW, 661 MWh in the United States. The 2016 interconnections accounted for 38.8 percent of that total.
  • Behind-the-meter pipeline: Of the utilities responding to the trends questions on the SEPA survey, 72 percent are planning behind-the-meter energy storage programs for residential customers; 80 percent are planning behind-the-meter programs for non-residential customers.
  • Utility leadership: Utilities are also taking the lead in testing the multiple capabilities and value streams potentially available from combining or “stacking” storage with other distributed energy resources — solar, wind, and advanced inverters.
  • Cost of lithium ion falling: The price of lithium ion is falling (down ~60 percent since 2012), however it is important to keep in mind that battery-only costs are very different than installed project cost.
    • Manufacturing of lithium-ion batteries is projected to expand significantly with multiple factories coming online over the next few years.

“Storage may not yet be a mainstream utility resource, as solar is rapidly becoming, but clearly, many in the industry can see the point on the horizon where that starts happening,” said Tanuj Deora, SEPA’s Executive Vice President and Chief Content Officer. “Utilities, like those that took part in SEPA’s survey, understand storage will be deeply disruptive and transformative in the value it brings to the grid — even more so than solar — and they need to start preparing for those changes now.”

The 2017 Utility Energy Storage Market Snapshot and 2017 Utility Solar Market Snapshot are available for download here.

Solar Power International and Energy Storage International are part of Smart Energy Week, Sept. 10-13 in Las Vegas. Registration and the full schedule are available here.


About Solar Power Events

Presented by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA), Solar Power Events strives to keep the industry moving forward by offering cutting-edge events centered around the trends, technology, and research that power the industry.