Utility-scale battery storage power capacity is rapidly growing, more than quadrupling from the end of 2014 to March 2019, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Of the top-10 states where battery storage capacity is at its highest, six are major oil and natural gas producers.
The EIA said that assuming planned additions are completed and none of the operating capacities are retired, utility-scale battery storage power could exceed 2,500 MW in roughly four years.
Growth in utility-scale battery installations is the result of state-level energy storage policies and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Order 841, which directed power system operators to allow utility-scale battery systems to engage in wholesale energy and capacity. In addition, pairing utility-scale battery storage with intermittent renewable resources, such as wind and solar, has become increasingly competitive compared to other power sources such as coal.
Additionally, the EIA reported that as of March, the total utility-scale battery storage power capacity expected to come online through 2023 is 1,623 MW. Should planned facilities come online as scheduled, total domestic utility-scale battery storage power capacity could nearly triple by the end of 2023.
In order, the six oil and gas producing states where battery storage capacity is at its highest are:
- California, with roughly 230 MW;
- Texas, with slightly under 100 MW;
- West Virginia, with about 60 MW;
- Alaska, with slightly under 50 MW;
- Ohio, with about 40 MW; and
- Pennsylvania, rounding out the top 10 with roughly 30 MW.
California, the No.1 installer, is attempting to reduce its fossil fuel emissions and is leading the nation on its use of renewable resources. Of planned 2019 installations, the largest is the Top Gun Energy Storage facility in California with 30 MW of installed capacity.
Texas, the third largest on the list, is the largest oil and natural gas producer in the country.
At No. 4, West Virginia is a leading Appalachian producer, while Alaska, at No. 6, is a huge oil and gas producer both onshore and offshore. Top Appalachian producers round out the list with Ohio at No. 9 and Pennsylvania at No. 10 (the nation’s second largest natural gas producing state).
The two largest operating utility-scale battery storage sites in the United States as of March provide 40 MW of power capacity each: the Golden Valley Electric Association’s battery energy storage system in Alaska and the Vista Energy storage system in California.