The US utility-scale battery storage sector achieved its highest-ever annual deployments in 2022, a year in which solar PV and wind underperformed against expectations.
According to the latest edition of Clean Power Quarterly, published by trade group American Clean Power Association (ACP), which collects stats for the full year 2022 as well as the fourth quarter, 4,027MW and 12,155MWh of battery energy storage was deployed in the country last year.
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That exceeded the previous record, set just a year before in 2021, when 3GW/9.5GWh was commissioned. That amounted to an increase in cumulative operating battery storage of 80% in megawatt terms, bringing it to a total of 9,054MW, and a total 25,185MWh of energy storage capacity – an increase of 93% in megawatt-hours.
During the fourth quarter, 850MW/2,375MWh of battery storage was commissioned. That was an increase of 31% year-on-year. However, with solar PV installations down 5% and wind power down 37% for the same period, there was a 21% drop in total installations across the three key technologies tracked by ACP. A similar trend was seen throughout the year, which tallied with ACP’s third quarter report findings.
California remains the US’ leading state for battery storage, with 4,938MW of cumulative installations to the end of 2022, and in fact more battery storage than solar PV was commissioned in the Golden State for the year.
In terms of development pipeline, ACP said the energy storage sector had rebounded in Q4 2022 from weakened second and third quarter growth rates, with a 17% increase from Q3 seen. The total battery storage development pipeline in the US as counted in the report adds up to 16,711MW/45,638MWh, again, record levels for the technology.
California leads that pipeline with 5,846MW in development, while the US’ second biggest market, Texas’ ERCOT, is host to a 3,802MW pipeline. Only two other states, Arizona (1,911MW) and Nevada (1,693MW) have more than a gigawatt of projects in the development pipeline.
That said, 14 states have more than 100MW in development and half of the country’s states have at least some battery storage in development.
Across the US, ACP noted that almost 70% of development battery energy storage system (BESS) projects are planned to be paired with solar PV and wind. It remains to be seen if the introduction of the standalone energy storage investment tax credit (ITC) will spur higher proportions of non-hybrid and co-located storage in those pipelines, as seems likely.
Of projects commissioned in 2022 meanwhile, over half of a total 88 battery storage projects (48) were hybrids and the remainder standalone.
Across the nation’s network of grids and wholesale markets, Texas leads for BESS in its interconnection queues, with 67GW awaiting connection, PJM Interconnection in second place with 50GW and California’s CAISO grid with 48GW in third. With grid connection queues often saturated with more projects than could ever be connected in some cases, CAISO actually stopped adding new megawatts to its queue in 2022 after being heavily oversubscribed in 2021.
Overall there was a 16% decline in clean power installations in 2022 versus 2021, which was largely attributable to lengthy delays faced by projects, particularly solar PV, which is in the midst of import tariff disputes.
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