US battery storage capacity increased 35% in 2020

18 August 2021

The United States has continued a trend of significant growth in large-scale battery capacity, with US battery power capacity reaching 1650 MW by the end of 2020. According to the Energy Information Administration’s report, ‘Battery storage in the United States: update on market trends’, US battery power capacity grew by 35% in 2020 and has tripled in the last five years.

EIA expects the trend to continue; utilities have reported plans to install over 10 000 MW of additional battery power capacity from 2021 through to 2023.

“Growth in US battery systems is critical as the USA faces new hurdles to reliable electricity delivery,” said EIA acting administrator Steve Nalley. “Energy stored in batteries can react to second-by-second fluctuations in the electricity grid, protecting grid power quality and improving the grid’s efficiency.”

Much of the recent increase in new storage capacity comes from battery energy systems co-located with or connected to solar projects. 

Five states account for more than 70% of US battery storage power capacity as of December 2020, with California alone accounting for 31% of the total (506 MW). Texas, Illinois, Massachusetts, and Hawaii each have more than 50 MW of capacity.

More than 400 MW of small-scale total battery storage power capacity also existed in the United States as of 2019, with California accounting for 83% of this. Small-scale batteries are reckoned as those with a nameplate power capacity of 1 MW or less.

US battery system energy capacity also continued to increase, reaching 1688 MWh at the end of 2019, a 30% increase from 2018. 

The full report is available on the EIA website.

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