The first quarter of 2017 was the biggest in history for the U.S. energy storage market.

According to GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association’s (ESA) latest U.S. Energy Storage Monitor, 234 megawatt-hours of energy storage were deployed in the first quarter, which represents more than fiftyfold growth year-over-year.

When measured in megawatts, it was the third-largest quarter in history, ranking behind only the fourth quarters of 2015 and 2016. Front-of-meter deployments grew 591 percent year-over-year, boosted by a few large projects in Arizona, California and Hawaii.

FIGURE: Q1 Energy Storage Deployments (MWh), 2013-2017
energy storage deployments
Source: GTM Research/ESA U.S. Energy Storage Monitor

“Much of this growth can be attributed to a shift from short-duration projects to medium- and long-duration projects in the utility-scale market, along with a surge of deployments geared to offset the Aliso Canyon natural gas leak,” said Ravi Manghani, GTM Research’s director of energy storage. “Still, the industry shouldn’t get too comfortable -- there aren’t that many 10+ megawatt-hour projects in the 2017 pipeline, indicating that the first quarter may be the largest quarter this year.”

In all, front-of-meter energy storage represented 91 percent of all deployments for the quarter.

The behind-the-meter market segment, which is made up of residential and commercial energy storage deployments, declined 27 percent year-over-year in megawatt-hour terms. The report attributes the slowdown to a pause in California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program.

California will remain the undisputed king of the U.S. storage market over the next five years. Arizona, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York and Texas will all battle for second place, with each market forming a significant chunk of deployments through 2022. At that point, GTM Research forecasts the U.S. annual market to reach 2.6 gigawatts and 7.2 gigawatt-hours.

FIGURE: Energy Storage Deployments by Segment (MWh), 2012-2022E

U.S. energy storage forecast
Source: GTM Research/ESA U.S. Energy Storage Monitor

Key findings

  • 71 megawatts of energy storage were deployed in Q1 2017, growing 276 percent over Q1 2016
  • 233.7 megawatt-hours of energy storage were deployed in Q1 2017, an increase of 944 percent from the same quarter last year
  • Front-of-the-meter deployments grew 591 percent from Q1 2016 in megawatts, boosted by a few large projects in Arizona, California and Hawaii
  • Behind-the-meter deployments dropped 32 percent year-over-year in megawatts, much of which can be attributed to declines in California’s behind-the-meter market as players awaited the opening of the new Self-Generation Incentive Program regime
  • GTM Research expects the U.S. energy storage market to grow to roughly 2.6 gigawatts in 2022, almost 12 times the size of the 2016 market
  • By 2022, the U.S. energy storage market is expected to be worth $3.2 billion, a tenfold increase from 2016 and a fivefold increase from this year. Cumulative 2017-2022 storage market revenues will be $11 billion.


The U.S. Energy Storage Monitor can be purchased individually or annually, or accessed as part of GTM Research's new Energy Storage Service.