The energy storage market is growing exponentially and with Stem coming off a record 2019 in all aspects of the business, we are positioned for another record year in 2020. Our core mission continues to be enabling a more strategic approach to energy management through intelligent storage. Whether our customers are interested in controlling cost, reducing risk, enhancing sustainability or improving resilience, our end-game always involves unlocking new value with energy storage.
We have been strategically assembling the complex pieces needed to create a powerful, simple solution that monetizes flexible energy storage. Today, I am proud to say that Stem manages and operates one of the largest networks of energy storage systems, with over 460MWh of aggregate capacity, more than 1,000 sites, with 23 hardware solutions, and over 20 utility programs all being managed by our Athena software platform.
In 2019, our sales and deployments each grew 50% year-over-year and we dramatically increased our addressable market by expanding into new geographies and markets. More than 45% of our business came from new opportunities in the Northeast including front-of-meter solutions and in total we created 4.5 Gigawatt hours of net new project opportunities. One of our strongest growth drivers was focus on delivering solar + storage and resiliency solutions.
We serve more than 300 commercial and industrial (C&I) customers, including 30 of the Fortune 500. Our team has a proven ability to operate across multiple geographies, utilities, grid operators and permitting agencies through activities across more than 75 global jurisdictions.
Given our exceptional performance, we have seen strong market interest in Stem. This interest was not only from partners and customers but also investors looking for the leadership attributes that are core to Stem. This interest parallels exponential growth of the market overall, with Wood Mackenzie recently projecting that global energy storage developments will grow more than 12x from 2020 to 2024. We saw this trend beginning to take shape over five years ago and have been taking steps to make sure we are in the strongest position to take advantage of this opportunity.
To this end, we have been building a robust partner network with over 50 active partners, a channel that delivered over 159MWh in 2019. This network originated more than 50% of Stem’s business last year. Given this success, we extended the program and today are pleased to announce the launch of our new Stem Partner Program. This multi-tiered channel will enable us to deliver storage solutions via solar developers of all sizes and better service the exploding market for C&I customers. Launching this set of trusted distributor partnerships positions Stem to support the broadest range of solar developers and EPCs, even giving smaller residential solar providers a path into the C&I markets across the United States. We are proud to welcome our first partners: BayWa r.e. Solar Systems and Soligent Distribution, two of the largest distributors in the U.S. collectively with 10 locations and over 5,000 customers. We have also launched Stem University, as the market leader it is my belief we need to educate the industry to ensure broader domain expertise related to sophisticated storage use cases, local permitting requirements and valuing the benefits of solar + storage. We are excited about this new channel, we are continuing to invest in direct sales and will be growing our direct sales team by 15%.
We took on the challenge and are exceeding on expectations in all areas of the business. Moving through 2020, the Stem team will steadfastly focus on ensuring that our customers successfully evolve with tomorrow’s intelligent energy infrastructure – and we’ll ensure success collaborating with our strong partners.