Greater energy security and independence

A consequence of unchecked climate change is the raft of extreme weather events: hurricanes, floods, wildfires, all of which are increasing in both intensity and frequency. According the New York Times, power outtages have increased more than 60 percent in US metro areas. A battery system, coupled with a solar array, can provide back up power in the event of a black out.

Excess energy collected from the sun is stored in a battery which can then back up several circuits, or critical loads, in your home. We currently work with two brands, Generac and Enphase. Both offer batteries of different sizes and a level of modularity for homeowners looking to backup critical loads, whole home backup, or something in between.

Avoiding peak pricing

For some residences and businesses, those on time-of-use rates, the price of electricity varies significantly depending on when you're drawing power from the grid. For residences in the Con Ed region, peak hour electricity costs more than 14 times that of off-peak hour electricity during the summer months, with the ratio being greater than five to one during the rest of the year. For small businesses, the ratio is more than 27 to one during the summer months and 13 to one during the rest of the year.

Batteries allow for stored solar energy to be deployed during peak hours, while shifting the load to the grid during off-peak ours. Given the difference between price difference between peak and off-peak periods, shifting demand through the use of batteries can result in tremendous savings.

Federal, state and local incentives

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, battery systems that are charged by a renewable energy system more than 75% of the time are eligible for the federal income tax credit, now at 26%, a dollar for dollar credit agains the cost of the solar plus battery system.

For homeowners, the New York State solar tax credit—25% up to $5,000—applies to battery systems as well. And for businesses, MACRS depreciation applies.

The utlity position vis-a-vis batteries is evolving. There are no Con Ed rebates available for residential and commerical storage at the moment; however, that may change.

Environmental Benefits

Solar’s lifetime emissions per kwh are orders of magnitude lower than that of fossil fuels, though they’re not zero, since fossil-fueled mining and manufacturing are part of the current solar supply chain. It’s so well known as to become hackneyed that fossil fuel driven energy production leads to pollution and climate change.

Unlike utility scale solar farms, distributed (rooftop) solar does not require the clearing of vast tracts of wilderness. Rooftop solar also makes for a more resilient grid, as thousands of tiny power plants are constantly supplying electricity, instead of one large one. Adding storage makes solar—an intermittend resource by nature—available at a more regular rate. Solar's future depends on effective storage. The more storage available at different levels of consumption, the more resilient and amenable to rewnables the grid, so long as that storage is drawing from clean resources, like solar.

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