Developers and power plant owners plan to significantly increase utility-scale battery storage capacity in the United States over the next three years, reaching 30 GW by the end of 2025, based on the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest Preliminary Monthly Electric Generator Inventory.
Developers and power plant owners report operating and planned capacity additions, including battery storage, to EIA through its electric generator surveys. Battery storage capacity in the United States was negligible prior to 2020, when electricity storage capacity began growing rapidly. As of October 2022, 7.8 GW of utility-scale battery storage was operating in the United States; developers and power plant operators expect to be using 1.4 GW more battery capacity by the end of the year. From 2023 to 2025, they expect to add another 20.8 GW of battery storage capacity.
The remarkable growth in U.S. battery storage capacity is outpacing even the early growth of the country’s utility-scale solar capacity. U.S. solar capacity began expanding in 2010 and grew from less than 1 GW in 2010 to 13.7 GW in 2015. In comparison, we expect battery storage to increase from 1.5 GW in 2020 to 30.0 GW in 2025. Much like solar power, growth in battery storage would change the U.S. electric generating portfolio.
Battery storage adds stability to variable energy sources such as wind and solar. Wind and solar are both intermittent resources; they can only provide electricity when the wind is blowing or when sunshine is available. Batteries solve the intermittency problem by storing extra energy produced by wind or solar generators for use later.
More than 75% of the 20.8 GW of utility-scale battery capacity that owners and operators reported that they plan to install from 2022 to 2025 is located in Texas (7.9 GW) and California (7.6 GW).
The large amount of existing and planned solar and wind capacity in California and Texas present a growing need for battery storage. More utility-scale solar capacity is located in California than in any other state, 16.8 GW, and developers expect to add another 7.7 GW between 2023 and 2025. A total of 10.5 GW of utility-scale solar capacity is located in Texas; developers plan to install another 20.4 GW between 2023 and 2025. In addition, 37.2 GW of wind capacity is located in Texas, more than in any other state, and developers expect to add an additional 5.3 GW over the next three years.
As more battery capacity becomes available to the U.S. grid, battery storage projects are becoming increasingly larger in capacity. Before 2020, the largest U.S. battery storage project was 40 MW. The 250 MW Gateway Energy Storage System in California, which began operating in 2020, marked the beginning of large-scale battery storage installation. At present, the 409 MW Manatee Energy Storage in Florida is the largest operating battery storage project in the country. Developers have scheduled more than 23 large-scale battery projects, ranging from 250 MW to 650 MW, to be deployed by 2025.