State incentives and mandates, along with market and regulatory reform and ongoing technological advances, are coalescing and driving forward deployment of advanced energy solutions across the U.S. 2015 looks set to be a milestone year. Some 220 megawatts' (MWs) worth of energy storage capacity will be deployed across the nation in 2015 – more than three times more than that for 2014, according to an inaugural market research report from GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association (ESA). The organizations see growth continuing “at a rapid clip thereafter."
GTM and ESA's count of the number of grid-connected electrochemical and electromechanical storage installations that came on-line in 2014 totaled 61.9 MWs of power capacity, up 40 percent from 44.2 MWs in 2013. One leading smart distributed energy storage technology and market pioneer delivered over one-third the total.
The developer of grid-scale and customer-sited “behind the meter” energy storage software and solutions, Emeryville, CA's Greensmith is now using its fourth-generation GEMS platform to manage five advanced energy storage systems, “including the single largest battery-based power system deployed globally in 2014.” That system provides 24x7 frequency regulation services for an independent regional U.S. grid operator.
“On the cusp of a breakout year”
“The U.S. is on the cusp of a breakout year for energy storage,” according to the inaugural U.S. Energy Storage Monitor report .
Utility deployments dominated the fast emerging U.S. market for advanced energy storage systems in 2014, accounting for 90 percent of newly installed capacity. So-called “behind the meter” installations at utility customer sites – commercial and industrial companies, government facilities, schools, hospitals and municipalities – made up ten percent of 2014's total.
Installations of “behind the meter” advanced energy storage systems picked up sharply in 2014's fourth quarter (4Q), however, GTM and ESA note. Going forward, GTM expects “behind the meter” installations will account for 45 percent of the overall market by 2019.
Advanced energy storage system deployments are also concentrated in states that have and/or are in the process of instituting market regulatory reforms and supportive policies, including mandates and incentive programs. GTM and ESA single out California and states where PJM is responsible for grid operations and management– all or part of 13 states across the eastern U.S. and the District of Columbia – as early leaders.
“The U.S. energy storage market is nascent, but we expect it to pick up more speed this year,” GTM Research SVP Shayle Kann was quoted in a Greentech Media news report. “Attractive economics already exist across a broad array of applications, and system costs are in rapid decline. We expect some fits and starts but significant overall growth for the market in 2015.”A technology-agnostic approach in integrating distributed energy storage capacity
Based in Emeryville, CA, Greensmith is responsible for delivering fully one-third of the advanced energy storage capacity brought on-line across the U.S. in 2014. Greensmith's latest software platform, GEMS4, “was used to integrate and manage all five energy storage systems, totaling 23 megawatts,” the pioneering developer of distributed energy storage technology and solutions highlighted in a news release.
Agnostic when it comes to energy storage technology, GEMS4 integrated and is managing four new battery technologies, including lithium-ion (Li-ion), flow and aqueous-ion battery storage systems. In total, Greensmith has integrated 12 different types of batteries since its inception.
"We are pleased with yet another key milestone for the company, as the U.S. Energy Storage Monitor report confirms the significant growth taking place in the energy storage market – so the timing couldn't be better," Greensmith CEO John Jung was quoted as saying...[A] growing number of power producers, developers and utilities are relying on Greensmith to meet their energy storage technology needs, as reflected in our sales pipeline which currently exceeds 500 megawatts.
*Image credits: 1), 2) GTM Research, ESA; 3) Greensmith
An experienced, independent journalist, editor and researcher, Andrew has crisscrossed the globe while reporting on sustainability, corporate social responsibility, social and environmental entrepreneurship, renewable energy, energy efficiency and clean technology. He studied geology at CU, Boulder, has an MBA in finance from Pace University, and completed a certificate program in international governance for biodiversity at UN University in Japan.