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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).

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
15 mins ago - World

Biden's blinking red lights: Taiwan, Ukraine and Iran

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

Russia is menacing Ukraine’s borders, China is sending increasingly ominous signals over Taiwan and Iran is accelerating its uranium enrichment to unprecedented levels.

The big picture: Ukraine, Taiwan and Iran’s nuclear program always loomed large on the menu of potential crises President Biden could face. But over the last several days, the lights have been blinking red on all three fronts all at once.

Updated 7 hours ago - World

Skripal poisoning suspects linked to Czech blast, as country expels 18 Russians

Combined images released by British police in 2018 of Alexander Petrov (L) and Ruslan Boshirov, who are suspected of carrying out an attack in the in the southern English city of Salisbury using Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, and also the2014 Czech depot explosion. Photo: Metropolitan Police via Getty Images

Czech police on Saturday connected two Russian men suspected of carrying out a poisoning attack in Salisbury, England, with a deadly ammunition depot explosion southeast of the capital, Prague, per Reuters.

Driving the news: Czech officials announced Saturday they're expelling 18 Russian diplomats they accuse of being involved in the blast in Vrbětice, AP notes. Czech police said later they're searching for two men carrying several passports — including two with the names Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

Indianapolis mass shooting suspect legally bought 2 guns, police say

Marion County Forensic Services vehicles are parked at the site of a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Friday. Photo: Jeff Dean/AFP via Getty Images

The suspected gunman in this week's mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis legally purchased two "assault rifles" believed to have been used in the attack, police said late Saturday.

Of note: The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's statement that Brandon Scott Hole, 19, bought the rifles last July and September comes a day after the FBI told news outlets that a "shotgun was seized" from the suspect in March 2020 after his mother raised concerns about his mental health.