Residential Solar + Battery Storage Solutions Protect Against Utility Outages


25 Jun

(NAPSI) — The market for energy storage is growing—and with good reason. With power disruptions from electrical utilities driven by wildfires, storms, hurricanes and the continued decay of the power grid across the country, homeowners have turned to new solutions to keep the lights on.  

At the center of the upswing in interest, solar power continues to rank highly with energy-conscious homeowners nationwide. However, as residents in California have discovered through Public Safety Power Shutoffs in 2019, their current photovoltaic (PV) solar systems do not power their homes during utility outages, primarily because safety shut-off protocols are designed into the systems to protect utility workers. This has boosted the appeal of battery-based energy storage and software systems that can harness the sunlight and store it for later use.

The Public Safety Power Shutoffs were put in place to mitigate wildfire risks that could be caused by sparking power transmission lines when high winds and dry conditions create dangerous circumstances. The state of California recently earmarked $675 million under a new round of its Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), one of the first state-level incentives for battery energy storage in the country. The program—which now has a cumulative historic value of over $1 billion—has helped California lead the nation in residential energy storage. The SGIP Equity Resilience incentive program could essentially offset the entire cost of a battery storage system by providing up to $1/watt of backup power for qualified homeowners.

Hurricanes on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts also have inspired many homeowners to consider battery storage as an addition to their solar power systems or to add natural gas or propane-powered home backup generators in place of or in addition to the solar assets. This demand has helped backup generator giant Generac move into the clean energy arena with its PWRcell Storage System, which is considered an ideal solution for resilience to utility grid outages and a way to significantly lower energy bills by avoiding the utility company’s peak rates. Generac is the only company that offers both battery storage systems and whole home backup generators. Its dealers can provide “touchless virtual quotes” for both systems that let homeowners make the best decision for their specific needs. 

The PWRcell storage system is an all-in-one platform that offers 8 kilowatts of continuous power and a 10 kW surge capacity to start heavy loads such as 2-ton air conditioners and well pumps, but what sets this apart from other options is its ability to scale up to 17.1 kW of usable capacity. The system is equipped with an energy monitoring technology called PWRview, which offers smart device linkage to track household energy consumption, monitor battery usage and track energy spending and savings.  

Such residential clean energy solutions bring smart home energy storage and management into the mainstream for homeowners, cutting energy costs and providing protection from electric utility disruptions. As a result, people have more options when deciding where to get their power.

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