According to the latest U.S. Energy Storage Monitor, a quarterly report from GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association (ESA), the United States deployed 5.8 megawatts of energy storage in the first quarter of the year. That’s up 16 percent over the first quarter of 2014.
Seventy-two percent of the nation’s recently deployed capacity was in front of the meter across six storage systems. The remaining 28 percent was behind the meter at residential, commercial, education, nonprofit and military sites. Behind-the-meter storage had a record first quarter and is trending upward in terms of total share of deployments. In fact, GTM Research forecasts that U.S. behind-the-meter storage sales will surpass front-of-meter storage sales by 2018.
Storage is a unique distributed energy resource because it can behave both as load and supply on the grid as needed, which can enable it to deliver more than just end-customer benefits. As of the first quarter of this year, GTM Research identified 11 different programs or pilot deployments using behind-the-meter storage for grid or wholesale market services, the largest of which is the more than 150 megawatts of behind-the-meter energy storage that is being procured by Southern California Edison as part of its local capacity requirement (LCR) program.
Ravi Manghani, senior energy storage analyst and lead author of the report, notes that despite technological, regulatory and market barriers, grid-service storage pilot projects and procurements are just starting to get off the ground and will fuel the growth of the behind-the-meter market segment.
“Companies are seeing dynamic opportunities in energy storage,” said Matt Roberts, executive director of ESA. “Wholesale solutions have fueled the market in recent years, but behind-the-meter applications for storage are quickly accelerating.”
“With year-over-year growth in the first quarter, the U.S. energy storage market is on pace for a record-breaking 2015,” said Shayle Kann, senior vice president at GTM Research.
GTM Research expects the U.S. to deploy 220 megawatts of energy storage in 2015, 11 percent of which will be behind the meter.