US energy storage achieves new record in Q4: Wood Mackenzie

Eos Energy Storage

The U.S. energy storage market achieved a new record in the fourth quarter of 2021, with new system installations reaching 4,727 MWh, according to a research report from Wood Mackenzie.

The American Clean Power Association’s (ACP) latest U.S. Energy Storage Monitor report said there was more capacity installed than in the first three quarters combined, despite project delays.

Deployments of grid-scale storage nearly tripled to 3 GW / 9.2 GWh in 2021. Despite a record year, the grid-scale market didn’t meet expectations in 2021, with supply chain challenges delaying more than 2 GW of capacity into 2022 and 2023.

Wood Mackenzie forecasts that supply chain pressures and delays within interconnection queue processing will persist through 2024.

“Even in the face of macro-economic headwinds, interconnection delays, and lack of proactive federal policy, increasing demand for resilient clean energy and volatility in the price of fuel-based generation will drive energy storage deployment forward,” Jason Burwen, Vice President for Energy Storage at American Clean Power, said in a news statement.

System component price gains experienced over recent years have nearly been wiped out by higher costs for raw materials and transportation. Specifically, battery module pricing saw the largest increase of all system components due to the increased cost of raw materials.

Residential storage had its strongest quarter to date with 123 MW installed, beating the previous quarterly record of 110 MW in the first quarter of 2021. Solar-plus-storage sales in markets outside of California helped establish the new quarterly benchmark and resulted in a national annual total of 436 MW.

By 2026, annual installations in the residential segment are expected to reach 2 GW / 5.4 GWh, with frontrunners in California, Puerto Rico, Texas, and Florida leading that market segment.

Outages in Puerto Rico are driving customers to recognize the added value of resilience that solar-plus-storage systems offer, despite premium pricing and lack of incentive programs.

“This is also driving solar-plus-storage market growth in Florida, the Carolinas and parts of the Midwest,” Chloe Holden, analyst with Wood Mackenzie’s energy storage team, said.

California storage market remains resilient as policy and market developments, such as NEM 3.0, shakes up the solar market.

The non-residential storage segment delivered 131 MWh in the fourth quarter resulting in 162MW / 350MWh of total annual deployments in 2021 — driven by increased storage attachment rates within the community solar markets of New York and Massachusetts.