Ellen Parson

Emerging Trends in Energy Storage

Feb. 15, 2024
Growth in ESSs, BESSs, and microgrids will be critical for the industry going forward.

Given the fact that U.S. battery storage capacity is expected to nearly double this year, trends in energy storage continue to be a hot topic among the EC&M audience. In fact, according to a report released in January from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), U.S. battery storage capacity “could increase by 89% by the end of 2024 if developers bring all of the energy storage systems they have planned online by their intended commercial operation dates” — which would expand U.S. battery capacity to more than 30GW. EIA also revealed that planned and currently operational U.S. utility-scale battery capacity totaled around 16GW at the end of 2023 with another 15GW to come in 2024 and 9GW expected in 2025, according to its latest “Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory.”

Not surprisingly, California and Texas, both of which are home to rapidly growing wind and solar energy generation resources, are leading the pack when it comes to states with the most installed battery capacity. Per EIA, as of November 2023, California boasted 7,302MW while Texas posted 3,167MW. According to the EIA report, five of the largest new battery storage projects scheduled to be deployed in California and Texas in the next two years include:

•    Lunis Creek BESS SLF (Texas, 621MW)
•    Clear Fork Creek BESS SLF (Texas, 600MW)
•    Hecate Energy Ramsey Storage (Texas, 500MW)
•    Bellefield Solar and Energy Storage Farm (California, 500MW)
•    Dogwood Creek Solar and BESS (Texas, 443MW)

However, expansion in this area can be seen all across the country. In Indiana, for example, AES Indiana, a subsidiary of The AES Corporation, announced a milestone in its energy transition in early February with the recent approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission of a stand-alone battery energy storage system. The Pike County Battery Energy Storage Project will add up to 1,300MW of wind, solar, and battery energy storage from new procurements in the next five years. Currently the world’s largest lithium-ion battery energy storage facility, Moss Landing Energy Storage Facility in Monterey County, Calif., also just got bigger, expanding to 750MW/3,000MWh.

In October 2023, the U.S. Department of Energy announced up to $3.5 billion in Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) Program investments for 58 projects across 44 states to strengthen electric grid resilience and reliability across America. For an excellent analysis on what this entails and how funds will specifically be earmarked, read “Getting a GRIP on Grid Upgrades” by Ryan Baker with EC&M’s sister publication T&D World.

Considering the expected growth in this area, emerging trends in energy storage systems (ESSs), battery energy storage systems (BESSs), and microgrids will be critical for many electrical professionals of all types, including those who design, install, maintain, and troubleshoot these systems. In this month’s issue, we’ve put together a comprehensive content package that addresses some of the most important aspects surrounding everything energy storage, including articles on: why more states aren’t prepared for the robust build out of microgrids; top changes in the 2023 NEC for energy storage systems; opportunities, limitations, and constraints surrounding ESSs; the benefits of ESSs and microgrids; how a change to net energy metering (NEM 3.0) regulations could impact solar adoption in the long run; overcoming obstacles related to solar farm expansions;  and NEC requirements for ESSs.

About the Author

Ellen Parson | Editor-in-Chief - EC&M

Ellen Parson is the Editor-in-Chief for EC&M. She has a journalism degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She's been a business-to-business writer and editor for more than 25 years, most of which have been covering the construction and electrical industries. Contact her at [email protected].

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