The White House recently announced that a number of federal actions and commitments from the private sector could result in 1.3 GW of new energy storage installations or procurements over the next five years. It also said that — with all the potential procurements, deployments, and private sector activity — it could be possible the total value reached might be $1 billion in energy storage investments.
If the White House’s vision is achieved and 1.3 GW is added to current energy storage capacity in the US, there will have been quite a surge in the rate of installations. In the first quarter of 2016, about 18.3 MW was installed, so if that amount remains steady for each quarter, the annual total will be around 72 MW. The White House’s target, if achieved, would mean about 260 MW would be installed each year for 5 years, in addition to the amount from the other sources.
A gathering of interested parties will get the ball rolling: “The summit brings together regulators, power companies, municipalities, and energy developers that are leading efforts to promote smart electricity markets and greater grid integration of renewable energy and flexible resources such as energy storage.”
The new energy storage vision does not rely only on private sector activity — the military will also participate. For example, at the Naval Weapons Station Seal Beach in California, it is possible a 50–100 MW grid-scale energy storage project will be completed. Decommissioned submarine batteries could be used for land-based energy storage, and if this project is realized, the Navy’s total energy storage capacity could grow to 44 MWh. The Air Force is also considering a number of energy storage projects.
Various utilities are also participating, like the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, which has committed to a target of 178 MW by 2021. A number of microgrid projects are also on the table.
Boosting energy storage is a good idea because it also supports the development of more renewable energy; solar power installations are made even more attractive by its presence and function.
Find out more from the White House here.