U.S. Energy Storage Surges 46% Led by Big Project in Windy Texas

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The Way Humans Get Electricity Is About to Change Forever

U.S. energy-storage capacity surged 46 percent in the third quarter, mainly due to a single big project in Texas, the biggest source of wind power.

Power companies and developers added 41.8 megawatts of storage systems, including a 30-megawatt utility-scale project in Texas, according to a report Thursday from GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association. California added 8.4 megawatts of residential and commercial systems. The industry installed 28.6 megawatts in the third quarter of 2016.

Driven by regulatory demands and sharp price declines, energy-storage is becoming more common. Prices for lithium-ion battery packs have fallen 24 percent from 2016 levels, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Utilities including Exelon Corp., Duke Energy Corp. and American Electric Power Co., meanwhile, are increasingly receptive to storage projects, which potentially will facilitate wider adoption of wind and solar power.

GTM forecasts that 295 megawatts will be in operation in the U.S. by year-end, up 28 percent from 2016. And more is coming. GTM projects the U.S. energy-storage market will be worth $3.1 billion in 2022, a seven-fold increase from this year.

“Energy storage is increasingly acknowledged in utilities’ long term resource planning across the country,” Ravi Manghani, GTM Research’s director of energy storage, said in a statement.

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