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How Some Utility Companies Are Recognizing the Future of Batteries

February 1st, 2022 | By Chad McComas

Batteries are at the forefront of the residential solar industry’s expansion, and they have proven their capabilities as demand increases. That success has even been noticed by utility companies, who want to take advantage of this energy source for their grid needs. Homeowners with a solar + storage system could benefit from sending their stored electricity back to the grid at certain times of peak need for utilities, which is a win-win for solar and for utility companies.

To fully understand how this works, let’s first quickly dive into why battery storage is so important for residential customers.

The benefits of having a battery

With a solar panel system, it is ideal to have a backup battery in case of a power outage, because it can keep critical loads in your home powered when your non-solar neighbors won’t have access to any power. On top of the protection in case of power outages, our backup battery can also help reduce monthly electric bills.

Battery programs are where battery ownership becomes even more exciting. Utility companies want the chance to take energy from a residential customer’s battery storage during times when they need it, and they’re willing to pay customers to give them that chance. One such pilot program rolled out in Arizona in 2020 called for the utility company to provide a rebate to customers that add a battery to their system – to the tune of $500 per kW (up to $2,500). Considering that Pink Energy’s standard battery offering is 9 kWh, its customers would have gotten the chance at the full credit (at least if we worked in Arizona!). That would increase the value proposition for those wanting to add a battery to their solar panel system.

Why battery storage helps the grid

These pilot programs make sense because residential solar customers that generate extra electricity during peak sun hours comes at a time when the utilities don’t need extra power. That’s because there’s fewer people home during the day. These utility companies need extra energy in the late afternoon/early evening hours, when most people get home from work. And at some point, the utility will have to account for another spike during overnight hours, when more residential customers are charging electric cars.

Utility companies see the value in solar with battery backups as well. According to a recent government survey, these methods are two of the fastest growing utility scale methods of generating power in the U.S.

Arizona is not the only state exploring pilot programs. Michigan is pushing for a plan, while New York has already rolled out its program. As these incentives continue to gain traction, why not already have that battery in place so you can take advantage and be on the cutting edge of a smarter grid?

The best trades in sports are ones that benefit both sides. Using that analogy with battery storage in mind,  battery programs have the chance to benefit both residential customers and the utility companies. We love win-win situations!

As you ponder the future of how you power your home, perhaps now is your time to consider adding solar+storage as an energy solution for your home. To reduce your carbon footprint and potentially have your utility company pay you for your foresight, reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help you with our American-made solar panels and backup battery solution!

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