Two states drive surge in residential battery storage installations

Picture credit: LG

Residential battery storage has surged in the US during the first quarter of 2018, according to a new report by Greentech Media and the Energy Storage Association.

The authors report that 36MW of ‘behind the meter’ storage was installed – the same amount as the previous three quarters combined. The report further reveals that the total energy storage market in the US grew by 26% – with behind the meter storage accounting for 49% of new installations.

The states responsible for the vast majority of this were California and Hawaii – accounting for 74% of the total installed.

The increase is due to changes in the rules surrounding net metering and the fact that “more solar installers are offering residential storage products than ever before and see residential storage as an important area of business growth, particularly as utilities implement time-of-use rates and reduce net-metering compensation.

“These policy trends are expected to continue as utilities and regulators work to deal with increasing levels of solar PV penetration, which are driving increasing residential storage demand,” says Brett Simon, senior analyst at GTM Research.

As net metering is increasingly meeting opposition from utilities and regulators, homeowners are finding that storage makes economic sense for them. Now, instead of using the grid as a storage device, homeowners are installing their own.

Instead of benefitting from the rates paid in the net metering system, the storage facility now helps the system pay for itself, particularly where ‘time of use’ tariffs have been implemented.

“With the U.S. energy storage market demonstrating a continued upward growth trajectory in the first quarter of 2018, the industry is moving closer to its vision of 35GW of new energy storage installations by 2025,” said Kelly Speakes-Backman, CEO of the Energy Storage Association.

“The growing list of states and markets ready to take action and remove barriers to cost-effective energy storage deployment promises the remainder of 2018 will yield similarly positive results.”