Energy storage is starting to rival new transmission
Energy storage has emerged as a viable alternative to building transmission lines — and investors and utilities are taking notice.
Why it matters: The breakthrough is timely, as transmission issues remain one of the biggest bottlenecks slowing renewables deployment.
Driving the news: A new study from consulting group Quanta Technology argues that energy storage can compete on a cost basis with transmission.
- Caveat: The study was commissioned by — wait for it — an energy storage industry group. But other studies have emerged with the same conclusion.
- One example comes from consultant Guidehouse Insights, which in February also found that storage systems can rival new transmission.
Meanwhile: Grid operators and investors are already acting.
- California's Public Utilities Commission last week approved 800 MW in new solar and storage projects, per Utility Dive.
- Last week, storage developer Hydrostor signed a $1 billion, 25-year PPA to supply customers in California.
Plus: The U.S. is on track for nearly a 4x increase in utility-scale energy storage by 2025, the Energy Information Administration wrote last month.
- The bulk of new storage projects are planned for California and Texas — 23 GW in operating and planned storage capacity in those two states alone, per S&P Market Intelligence.
- The next closest is Nevada, at about 3.6 GW.