Total US battery storage capacity climbed 52% year on year to 10.777 GW by the end of first quarter 2023, even as only a fraction of the proposed 2.448 GW additions actually came online, while nearly 3.2 GW is expected to be added in Q2.
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There was 710 MW of capacity added during Q1, an increase of 7% from the end of 2022, according to an S&P Global Commodity Insights compilation of various government filings. The data includes facilities that either began commercial operation or were synchronized to the grid.
The California Independent System Operator continues to lead the nation in battery storage capacity at 5.199 GW, or 48.2% of total US capacity, even as the Electric Reliability Council of Texas footprint added the most capacity in Q1, ending the quarter with 3.287 GW, or 30.5% of US capacity, according to the data.
Prices for lithium, a key metal used in battery components, have declined through much of 2023, cooling from record high levels reached in 2022, though prices have seen a slight rise in the past two weeks. Platts assessed seaborne lithium prices on a CIF North Asia basis May 24 at $38,000/mt for carbonate and $45,000/mt for hydroxide, according to S&P Global Commodity Insights data. Carbonate and hydroxide reached highs of $78,000/mt and $84,700/mt on the same basis, respectively, last year.
The ERCOT footprint added 498.6 MW in Q1, or 70.2% of all US additions, followed by the Western Electricity Coordinating Council with 115 MW added, or 16.2% of total US installations. All other regions installed less than 3% each.
The largest projects completed in Q1 were all located in ERCOT or WECC:
- Acciona Energy North America's 190-MW BT Cunningham Storage in Texas
- Aypa Power Development's 155.5-MW Wolf Tank Storage facility in Texas
- Key Capture Energy's 51.5-MW KCE TX 19 facility in Texas
- Key Capture Energy's 51.5-MW KCE TX 21 facility in Texas
- NextEra Energy Resources' 50-MW Buena Vista Energy Center facility in New Mexico
- Arizona Public Service's 50-MW El Sol BESS facility in Arizona
Following Q1 additions, NextEra Energy Resources continues to have the largest operating battery storage capacity in the US with 1.421 GW, according to the data. Axium Infrastructure claimed the second top spot with 733 MW, followed by Vistra Energy with 673 MW and LS Power Development Affiliates with 615 MW. Terra-Gen Power rounds out the top five with 581 MW.
In comparison, the American Clean Power Association's Q1 report showed battery storage additions totaled 461 MW/1,075 MWh in Q1 between 17 projects, down 32% from how much as added in Q1 2022.
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If all 3.177 GW of proposed Q2 additions are completed and connected to the grid, it would bring the US total to nearly 14 GW, according to the data compiled.
While Q1 additions shifted to ERCOT, the West is expected to return to the top of the pack for Q2 planned additions. Developers in CAISO are expected to add 1.623 GW, or 51.1% of all US planned additions, while WECC is projected to add 1.2 GW, or 38%. ERCOT is proposed to be third in line with 200 MW added, or 6.3% of Q2 additions.
The top five largest projects proposed to be completed in Q2 are located in the Western US:
- Vistra Energy's 350-MW Moss Landing Energy Storage 3 facility in California
- NextEra Energy Resources' 260-MW Sonoran Solar Energy facility in Arizona
- DE Shaw Renewable Investments' 150-MW Arroyo Energy Storage facility in New Mexico
- RWE Clean Energy's 137-MW Fifth Standard Solar PV facility in California
- RWE Clean Energy's 131-MW CED Westside Canal Battery Storage facility in California
Sonoran Solar Energy was previously expected to be the largest project added in Q1 but is now slated among the largest in Q2, while Arroyo Energy Storage was also expected online in Q1 but is now scheduled for Q2.
Besides the combined 1.623 GW planned in CAISO, WECC and ERCOT, there is 60 MW slated in the PJM Interconnection, 48 MW expected in Southeast states, 33.2 MW proposed in the New York Independent System Operator footprint, and 10 MW scheduled in ISO New England, according to the data.
Looking further out, CAISO is projected to have 6.852 GW of battery storage by the end of 2023 and 9.352 GW by the end of 2024, according to S&P Global data. ERCOT follows with an expected 4.954 GW by the end of this year and 6.954 GW the following year, while WECC expects to reach a capacity of 1.172 GW in 2023 and 1.925 GW by the end of 2024. The Southeast states expect to have a combined 948 MW by the end of this year and 1.348 GW by the end of 2024, but NYISO looks to outbuild the Southeast by 2024, with 1.419 GW expected by the end of the year.
The largest battery storage facility in operation is Florida Power and Light's 409-MW Manatee Energy Storage Center, which started operations in Q4 2021, followed by Vistra Energy's 300-MW Moss Landing Energy Storage 1 in CAISO and Vistra Energy 's 263.1-MW Decordova Energy Storage Facility in ERCOT.