Battery storage on verge of changing Texas power grid

L.M. Sixel

Business Writer, Houston Chronicle

Texas is carving out a leadership position in adopting large-scale battery storage as battery prices fall, technology improves and electricity demand grows, potentially paving the way for renewable power to dominate the state’s energy mix.

The amount of storage on the state’s power grid is still small — just 100 megawatts in a system with a generating capacity of nearly 80,000 megawatts — but is expected to more than triple to about 360 megawatts in 2020 and grow even faster in coming years. The state’s grid manager, meanwhile, is considering proposals to develop some 7,200 megawatts of large-scale battery storage within the next five years or so, exceeding the amount of natural gas generation in the pipeline.

“It’s a stunning development,” said Sam Huntington, an analyst specializing in battery storage for the global consulting firm IHS Markit, “and nothing anyone would have predicted a couple years ago.”

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