Today's Utility Energy Storage Market

The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) released its "2019 Utility Energy Storage Market Snapshot" report this month. SEPA is an educational nonprofit that works to facilitate the electric power industry's transition to a clean and modern energy future through education, research, standards and collaboration.

A summary of the report's findings:

  • In 2018, a total of 760.3 Megawatt-hours (MWh) of energy storage were interconnected, which represents a 44.9% increase over 2017, and which brings the cumulative energy storage total to 1,966.6 MWh nationwide. 
  • Residential storage deployments grew 500.1% in 2018, driven largely by favorable policies in a number of states.
  • Non-residential storage displayed strong growth of 34.9%, with deployments totaling 189.9 MWh.
  • Utility-supply storage deployments grew 11.3% in 2018 over 2017, with deployments totaling 394.8 MWh.

As regards specific types of utilities:

  • Investor-owned utilities deployed the most storage of any utility type, interconnecting 488.6 MWh of energy storage systems, and accounting for 64.3% of the total MWh interconnected to the grid.
  • Public power utilities and electric coops, however, also showed strong growth in 2018, interconnecting 271.7 MWh of storage in 2018, which represents an increase of over 300% from 2017. Public power deployments in specific grew by 1,435.5%, and electric coop deployments grew by 154.4%.

As for the future, the SEPA report states, "Favorable policies, combined with falling costs and an increased appreciation of the advantages of energy storage for both the grid and power consumers signal a fast-growing market and increased range of applications. Furthermore, research and development continues on both existing commercial storage technologies and promising new technologies, such as flow batteries."

Another sign of future growth: According to the report, almost half of the utilities that SEPA surveyed for the report had at least one energy storage installation in their service territory at the end of 2018, and one quarter of those utilities deployed their first storage project in 2018.


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