Photo: Hendrik Schmidt/picture alliance/Getty Images

U.S. energy storage installations grew by a record amount last quarter, per new data from Wood Mackenzie and the U.S. Energy Storage Association.

Why it matters: Battery storage helps integrate more renewables onto power grids and, in some applications, provide backup power for buildings during outages.

The big picture: Installations totaled 186.4 megawatts in the fourth quarter and 523 for the full year, also a record.

  • For 2019 as a whole, California led the market for residential and non-residential buildings, while Massachusetts saw the most "front of the meter" deployments — basically systems used on the power grid.

The intrigue: The big power shutoffs to cut wildfire risk in California are beginning to boost the storage market, the analysis shows.

  • “California continues to be a market to watch and we expect almost one in four residential solar systems across the state to have storage attached in 2020," Wood Mackenzie analyst Brett Simon said in a statement.
  • "This is due to multiple factors, including the Self-Generation Incentive Program, opportunities from time-of-use rates, continued desire for resilience in the wake of PSPS events and even some upside from the new home solar mandate."

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that the Wood Mackenzie analyst who discussed California's storage market was Brett Simon (not Simon Flowers).

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