Identifying Potential Markets for Behind-the-Meter Battery Energy Storage: A Survey of U.S. Demand Charges

August 24, 2017

Seth Mullendore, Joyce McLaren | Clean Energy Group, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)

This collaborative paper by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Clean Energy Group details the first comprehensive public analysis of the potential size of the commercial behind-the-meter battery storage market in the United States. The researchers analyzed representative building load profiles against more than 10,000 utility tariffs, finding that over 25 percent of commercial customers across the country may be able to cost-effectively reduce their utility bills with battery storage technologies today.

The researchers looked at the number of commercial customers eligible for utility rate tariffs that included demand charges of $15 or more per kilowatt, an industry benchmark for identifying economic opportunities for behind-the-meter storage. They concluded that approximately 5 million customers were at or above this demand charge threshold. This represents a substantial market opportunity for behind-the-meter battery storage, which can be installed to control peak demand and lower electricity bills by reducing demand charge expenses.

The paper presents these findings, grouped by utility service territory and state, and illustrated in a series of maps and tables.