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Non-hydro energy storage market grows, with 102 MW installed in 2016

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Non-hydro energy storage market grows, with 102 MW installed in 2016

Non-hydro energy storage capacity continues to expand, with a total of 102 MW built in 2016, half of which was in California. That is well beyond the previous two years combined, which saw 40 MW of battery storage and flywheel projects installed in the U.S. in 2014 and 2015.

Until recently, energy storage resources have traditionally come from pumped storage hydro projects, which generates electricity by moving water between reservoirs at different elevations, but this study examines the growth of new storage technologies applicable in the power sector, such as batteries, flywheels, and compressed air storage. It excludes storage devices such as those installed in electric vehicles and the transportation sector. The total also excludes storage projects that are less than 1 MW.

All of the capacity installed in 2016 came from stand-alone battery technologies. No new flywheel systems have been recorded as installed in the past two years, according to data as of Jan. 13 from SNL Energy, an offering of S&P Global Market Intelligence.

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Roughly half of the capacity was located in California, largely from the 30-MW Coachella Battery Storage Project in Imperial County, Calif., and the 20-MW Pomona Battery Storage 1 in Los Angeles. The 1-MW SDGE Borrego Battery Storage in San Diego provided the balance. Another 23 MW were built in Ohio across three projects serving the PJM Interconnection LLC. The IPL Advancion Energy Battery Storage (Harding Street) plant, operated by AES Corp. utility Indianapolis Power & Light Co., added 20 MW of new capacity in Indiana and is the first grid-scale, battery-based storage project serving the central U.S. grid operated by MISO. The remainder of the installed capacity in 2016 was built in Hawaii, Illinois, Texas and Washington.

Looking forward, there are roughly 2,100 MW of compressed air storage in development or planned. A 1,200-MW compressed storage project is estimated to come online between 2020 and 2024 in Utah. The rest of the compressed air capacity is spread across California, New York and Texas.

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Data shows that 1,050 MW of energy storage capacity is planned or in development, of which roughly half, or 526 MW, is located at planned power plants while the other half comes from stand-alone projects. About 71% of the planned capacity would sell into the California ISO, while 11% is not slated for wholesale power markets. The remaining 18% came from projects selling into the New England, PJM, Texas and New York markets.

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Federal, regional and state commitments, and the private sector have accelerated the deployment of energy storage. The Obama administration committed to increasing storage capacity in the U.S. during a June 2016 White House summit, according to a White House factsheet. The summit highlighted 33 state-level and private-sector commitments to accelerate the integration of renewables and energy storage.

In California, numerous military bases have committed to install energy resilient technologies, including storage. For example, the U.S. Navy has committed to a 50-MW to 100-MW grid-scale battery project at a facility in Seal Beach, Calif., according to the factsheet. State policies, particularly actions by the California Public Utilities Commission, have also spurred storage projects. The PUC in 2011 established a 1,300-MW procurement target for a mix of large- and small-scale storage by 2020, and the PUC also directed Sempra Energy subsidiary San Diego Gas & Electric Co. and Edison International subsidiary Southern California Edison Co. to procure storage as a resource to support regional reliability after gas supplies were affected by a leak at the Aliso Canyon gas storage field that was finally plugged in February 2016.

Other states and territories, including Arizona, Guam, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Texas and Vermont, have put in place or considered front-of-the-meter storage polices, according to the U.S. Energy Storage Monitor report for the third quarter of 2016, issued by GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association. About a dozen states are working on creating a market for behind-the-meter storage, which includes batteries installed at homes and businesses, the report found.