Charged Up - U.S. Battery Generation

EIA-923 data

Charged Up - U.S. Battery Generation
Deep in the depths of EIA datasets resides Form EIA-923, the mandatory Power Plant Operations Report

EIA-923 'collects information from regulated and unregulated electric power plants in the United States; including electric power generation, energy source consumption, end of reporting period fossil fuel stocks, as well as the quality and cost of fossil fuel receipts'

EIA battery generation datasets available via APIs currently only include net generation, which nets power used by battery storage projects and/or the power ingested from the grid to allow for gross generation (discharge) at a later time

923 data provides gross energy storage generation, which we further broke down into battery energy storage only, removing pumped hydro and other forms of U.S. energy storage

Battery generation in the U.S. appears to be charging higher, but for now it remains an immaterial part of the U.S. grid overall

Massive Growth, Minimal Impact (For Now)

U.S. battery storage gross generation began to surge in the second half of 2021 and has continued to do so in 2022 with growth rates well in excess of 100%.

Spot trailing 12-month battery generation is around 2.0 TWhrs, growing at approximately 100-150%.

Of note, EIA 2022 monthly data is a sample of data from generators whereas annual data includes all generators.  We determined the mix of 2022 generators included as part of the 2021 annual data to adjust 2022 generation.

Adjusted for the EIA sampling methodology, 2022 battery generation through July is up four times versus 2021.  

Let's put 2.0 TWhrs of battery generation in context.  The U.S. power grid does a little over 4,000 TWhrs annually.  That pegs current battery generation at 0.05% of total U.S. power generation.  One twentieth of one percent.

Even before the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, battery storage capacity was set to quadruple by 2025.  All else being equal, however, that capacity growth would lead to battery generation still below 0.5%, or half of one percent.

The battery storage generation discussion in the U.S. needs to be had in the context of local and regional power demand cycles, peak demand excess capacity, co-location alongside renewable sources, technological and supply side improvements and state regulations.  

California is far more advanced in its battery storage deployment compared to the rest of the country and accounts for two-thirds of 2022 battery generation in the U.S.  California battery storage generation needs to approximately double to reach 1% of total state power generation.  

We'll look into implied capacity factors, state and regional data and map out some of the larger battery projects in the U.S. in future work.  

Look for our state-by-state renewable analysis coming soon!