Courtesy of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
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Solar + Storage Project Pipeline Keeps Growing

Aug. 25, 2021
Energy storage plays a pivotal role in enabling power grids to function with more flexibility and resilience

Vendors, utilities, technology companies and customers are continuing to embrace solar plus storage. The benefits of pairing solar power with energy storage are growing as both technologies become more cost competitive.

According to the US Energy Information Association, solar and wind generation sites paired with energy storage had grown from 19 to 53 between 2016 and 2019, with another 56 planned installations to come online by 2023.

Electric power markets in the United States are undergoing structural change that may result in the installation of large-scale battery storage to contribute 10,000 MW to the grid between 2021 and 2023—10 times the capacity in 2019, according to the EIA.

Energy storage plays a pivotal role in enabling power grids to function with more flexibility and resilience. The number and total capacity of large-scale battery storage systems continue to grow in the US, and regional patterns strongly influence the nation-wide market structure.

At the end of 2019, 163 large-scale battery storage systems were operating in the United States, a 28% increase from 2018. The maximum energy that could be stored at these sites (energy capacity) was 1688 MWh, and the maximum power that could be provided to the grid from these sites at any given moment (power capacity) was 1022 MW.

As of the end of 2019, more than 60% of the large-scale battery system capacity to store energy or provide power to the grid in the United States was located in areas covered by regional grid operators PJM Interconnection (PJM) and California Independent System Operator (CAISO). Historically, these areas attracted capacity additions because of favorable market rules promoting energy storage.

Here are some of the solar plus storage projects we have written about here at T&D World.

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