On a High Note: Battery Storage Surges in the US
In 2021, battery storage capacity surged by 3508 megawatts (MW), which is more than double the amount from the last year. The upside to battery storage is that it enables energy from renewable sources to be stored for consumers to be used when needed. It is an essential tool for speeding up the transition away from fossil fuels. In addition to increased battery storage capacity, projects can run significantly longer before needing to be recharged, which will bolster the influence of battery storage in the US energy system.
Some of the largest battery storage projects in the world include Blythe and McCoy, Manatee Energy Storage Center, and Moss Landing Energy Storage -- two of which are based in California, the state that leads the country in grid-scale battery storage by a wide margin. California’s large capacity of battery storage has already played a crucial role in preventing rolling blackouts when wildfires interrupted the flow of energy from the Pacific Northwest in 2021.
As the renewable energy sector continues to explode in the US, battery storage is predicted to grow exponentially in the next five years. By 2023, existing projects are expected to generate 10,000 MW. Potential federal and state laws could also grow the market by encouraging or requiring energy storage.
In other energy news last week, President Biden announced that he will use the Defense Protection Act to mine and process minerals needed to make more batteries.
California ISO: From Idea to Reality | Battery Storage Comes of Age on the California Grid, March 2, 2022.
ABC News: New battery technology a game changer in renewable energy storage, September 9, 2021.