US grid-battery costs dropped 70% over 3 years

Lately, the price of photo voltaic and wind power has declined precipitously, which has accelerated the expansion of those renewable power applied sciences. More and more, utilities are actually planning for a future grid dominated by photo voltaic and wind. That may require adjustments in grid administration and transmission upgrades in addition to the addition of storage to easy out the availability from variable mills.

Grid storage continues to be fairly early days, however we’re already seeing large value reductions because the trade matures. The US Power Data Administration (EIA) highlighted this just lately, exhibiting that grid-scale battery-project prices in america dropped 70 % in only a few years.

Between 2015 and 2018, common challenge prices decreased from $2,152 per kilowatt-hour of storage to $625. Prices might want to drop rather more for grid batteries to scale, however that’s an enormous enchancment in a brief time period.

Average costs (per kilowatt-hour capacity) dropped about 70 percent from 2015 to 2018.
Enlarge / Common prices (per kilowatt-hour capability) dropped about 70 % from 2015 to 2018.

By the top of 2018, the US had 869 megawatts of battery energy capability and 1,236 megawatt-hours of power capability. (Energy is the speed at which the batteries can provide electrical energy, whereas power is the full quantity it will possibly provide when going from full cost to empty.) EIA additionally has set up information for 2019, which noticed the addition of one other 150 megawatts/450 megawatt-hours. And in simply the primary seven months of 2020, one more 300 megawatts of energy capability had been put in.

EIA doesn’t see this slowing down. It expects put in battery storage to extend by 6,900 megawatts “within the subsequent few years”—a determine ambiguous sufficient to permit for a fast spike in deliberate tasks.

Whilst you may suppose that one battery is kind of the identical as one other, there are regional variations hidden inside the common prices of latest tasks. In within the Midwest-to-mid-Atlantic area of the grid managed by PJM, for instance, the common value between 2013 and 2018 was $1,946 per kilowatt-hour. Initiatives in Hawaii averaged simply $947 per kilowatt-hour.

Average costs for different grid regions, with circle size representing capacity. Batteries can be designed to prioritize power (rate) or energy (total storage).
Enlarge / Common prices for various grid areas, with circle measurement representing capability. Batteries might be designed to prioritize energy (charge) or power (whole storage).

A lot of this distinction might be defined by the truth that batteries are serving many various functions. Within the PJM area, for instance, that value drops to $1,004 should you calculate it per kilowatt fairly than per kilowatt-hour. And by that metric, Hawaii’s common value goes as much as $1,498.

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