Chart: The US battery market is on track for its best year yet

Overall storage installations — meaning utility-scale, home, and commercial projects — grew 84 percent in Q1. Grid battery installations grew even faster.
By Dan McCarthy

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The U.S. battery boom is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, the sector is off to its best-ever start to a year. 

In the first quarter of 2024, nearly 1.3 gigawatts (GW) of battery storage was installed at power plants, homes, and commercial facilities across the nation, according to new data from the American Clean Power Association and Wood Mackenzie. 

Earlier this year, the government’s official number-crunchers made a prediction: The U.S. would nearly double the size of its grid battery fleet in 2024. Even before the numbers started to roll in, the forecast seemed sound — the country’s grid battery capacity has basically grown at that blistering pace for three years running. Sometimes even faster.

With this new data in hand, the prediction looks even more likely to be realized. The country installed more than double the amount of utility-scale storage in Q1 2024 than it did over the same period a year prior. And overall battery storage installations — meaning not just utility-scale projects, but home and commercial installations as well — were 84 percent higher than in Q1 2023

Grid batteries accounted for most of the new installations in Q1. And almost all of this 993 MW of new utility-scale storage capacity was built in three states: Texas, arguably the hottest grid battery market in the country; California, the state with the most storage capacity; and Nevada, a state with ample solar and some momentum in battery deployments. In the residential and commercial markets, California led the way as well. 

This wave of battery storage installations comes on the heels of exponential growth in U.S. solar capacity. A decade ago, the U.S. had connected around 20 GW of solar to the grid in total; now the country installs more than that each year. This growth can, at times, lead to an embarrassment of riches: Solar-saturated states like California often produce more clean electricity than they can immediately use. Without batteries to soak up this surplus, a lot of carbon-free energy goes to waste.

The demand created by this dynamic — along with the availability of more generous incentives for utility-scale storage developers and home batteries alike — has helped drive the country’s current battery boom. 

Already, the benefits are clear. In Texas, batteries helped stave off blackouts last summer. In Utah, they’re helping a utility deal with a sudden surge in electricity demand. In California, storage is displacing fossil gas. 

And as solar continues to take off across the country, more batteries are likely to follow, spreading the benefits even further. 

Dan McCarthy is news editor at Canary Media.