Home batteries are having a record year

Source: David Ferris, E&E News reporter • Posted: Monday, September 10, 2018

After years of buzz, the residential battery appears to be achieving liftoff in the United States, according to a new report.

Residential energy storage is used by homeowners either as emergency backup during blackouts or to soak up the excess electricity captured by rooftop solar panels.

In the second quarter of 2018, these batteries made up more than a third of all energy-storage deployments. That’s a steep rise from the prior year, when the market was only a tenth the size. The data comes from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, formerly known as GTM Research.

Overall, energy storage installations increased to more than 156 megawatt-hours, which is three times what occurred in the same quarter last year.

Energy storage added by utilities — called “front of the meter” deployments — were beefier than in the second quarter of 2017. However, they made up only a third of total deployments.

The remaining two-thirds were “behind the meter” deployments, which happen at individual buildings. Those in-building installments were nearly equally divided between residences and businesses.

Wood Mackenzie identified California and Hawaii as the leading states in residential energy storage, with Massachusetts and Arizona in contention for a distant third.

In the second quarter, the report said, several states and their utilities introduced new policies friendly to energy storage, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New York and Rhode Island.