A solar system for my home is already a major investment… why would I want to add energy storage to that?
A very common (and valid) question we hear from homeowners… what in the world can I do with batteries in my home that justify the extra hassle and expense of them? On the surface, most people instantly think of playing the energy arbitrage game: buy energy to charge my batteries when power is cheap and discharge when my utility is charging me a much higher price.
A home in Australia using Aquion energy storage for solar self-consumption.
That is certainly one job that batteries can perform for a homeowner, but not the only job that batteries can perform. For example, did you know that properly installed systems can also:
- Provide backup power for critical loads (refrigerators, pumps, alarm systems, coffee makers (in my case)) in the case of power outages. If sized properly with PV, a home could run at reduced loads for extended periods of time in scenarios where a natural disaster causes major power disruptions.
- Store any extra solar power that is generated during daytime hours when most household loads are less than what is being generated. In this scenario you are storing your own, free, energy for use later.
- Take certain loads or entire rooms of your home completely off the grid—a workroom, the office, garage, etc.
- In some areas, allow your utility access to your energy storage system to provide critical services to grid operators to maintain system stability and, generate revenue, based on the dispatch of your system.
A diagram of how energy storage can be used to optimize solar self-consumption.
While batteries are not new technology, the concept of residential energy storage is still a burgeoning application in the marketplace. As more and more time goes on, there will be more and more applications for energy storage. Batteries are an excellent hedge against changes to utility rate structures—because we can all agree that what you pay your utility per kWh of electricity is not going to be reduced anytime soon (if ever). Installing energy storage alongside your PV ensures a reliable, clean, and cheaper source of power for years to come—reducing reliance on your local utility, increasing your power insurance in case of outages, and taking more control of your expenses—all while having a positive impact on the environment. A winning proposition all the way around for many homeowners.
See how homeowners in Australia are maximizing grid independence with energy storage for solar self-consumption: