Ameresco to supply 537 MW/2 GWh battery storage to support California grid

Renewable energy asset developer Ameresco will supply Southern California Edison with three battery energy storage systems totaling 537 MW/2 GWh to provide resiliency to the grid.

The grid-scale battery energy storage systems will be deployed at existing substation parcels throughout SCE’s service territory in California, reaching commercial operation by August 2022.

“SCE sees a growing role for battery storage as we transition to delivering 100% clean renewable energy to customers,” SCE President and CEO Kevin Payne said. “The battery storage systems we have contracted for with Ameresco will make the grid more resilient to the effects of extreme weather and will help us continue our progress toward the clean energy future, which is essential to combating climate change.”

Heatwaves and wildfires caused repeated reliability issues on the California grid last summer, forcing the clean-energy-minded to scramble to fire up fossil fuel-powered plants.

Global energy storage deployments are expected to nearly triple year-over-year in 2021, reaching 12 GW/28 GWh, according to a report by Wood Mackenzie.

Wood Mackenzie’s Global Energy Storage Outlook forecasts nearly 1 TWh of total demand from 2021-2030, with the U.S. and China dominating the market. The two countries will account for over 70% of total global installed energy storage capacity through 2030, the report notes.

“Moves to accelerate the decarbonization of the US and Chinese power sectors are gaining pace and provide the foundation of our global market forecast,” Wood Mackenzie senior research analyst Xu Le said.

The report credited the investment tax credit for solar+storage projects for supercharging demand in the U.S. — adding that budget reconciliation, and an ITC for standalone storage, would send demand even higher over the next 10 years.

Wood Mackenzie analysts predict that cumulative energy storage capacity will nearly reach 400 GWh by 2030. The report highlighted the Texas, New York, and PJM markets as exciting regions for growth.

Meanwhile, global lithium-ion battery manufacturing capacity is expected to double in the next two years– Asia Pacific accounted for 81% of the growth in global capacity in 2020.

Researchers and investors alike believe lithium-ion battery recycling is poised to make a big jump. Ford announced a partnership with Redwood Materials on its $11.4 billion electric vehicle mega campus investment to maximize lithium-ion battery recycling and second-life applications.  Massachusetts-based Battery Resources recently raised $70 million to scale its closed-loop material production technology.

Emergen Research predicts the global battery market to reach $24.57 billion by 2027, up from $16.19 billion in 2019.

In February, Canada’s Li-Cycle, a lithium-ion battery recycling company, announced it would be listed on the NYSE via a SPAC transaction, valued at $1.67 billion. Li-Cycle is able to recover more than 90% of the most valuable elements from lithium-ion batteries, such as cobalt, nickel, lithium, and copper.

Energy storage and battery recycling are part of the content being offered at both POWERGEN International and DISTRIBUTECH, co-located Jan. 26-28 in Dallas. Registration is now open for POWERGEN.