How a Solar Energy Storage System Can Help You Go Off-Grid

Solar energy storage system

How a Solar Energy Storage System Can Help You Go Off-Grid

Adding an energy storage system to your solar installation increases energy self-sufficiency and helps you take advantage of time-of-use rates. This is an important technology that can make a big difference in the long term.

Energy storage is available in a variety of forms, with different energy and power capacities. These systems can be co-located with solar panels or stand alone.

Reduced Utility Bills

Solar energy storage devices allow homeowners and businesses to gather electricity that their solar panels generate, store it inside the device and use it when they need it most — after sundown or during power outages. This minimizes reliance on the grid and helps reduce utility bills, especially during peak rate periods.

During the day, solar energy is produced at a rate that often exceeds demand, leading to what’s called the “duck curve.” However, energy storage systems help balance these fluctuations in electric load Solar energy storage system by storing surplus generation and making it available during peak hours.

Energy storage allows businesses to take advantage of Demand Response programs to earn payments for agreeing to reduce their energy demand during times of peak electricity usage – effectively “peak shaving.” Unlike other methods for lowering and smoothing peak loads, such as diesel generators or manually turning off equipment, solar + battery energy storage does not emit emissions or require employees to intervene.

Solar energy storage also enables businesses to reap the benefits of a fixed energy tariff. These tariffs offer a set price per kWh over a term of 15 or 20 years, and are much more affordable than traditional variable rates. In addition, a fixed energy tariff eliminates the risk of rising electricity costs and provides a hedge against future inflation.

Enhanced Resilience

Solar energy storage helps ensure that solar power can contribute to the electricity supply even when the sun isn’t shining. There are many different storage methods that can be used for this purpose, including mechanical, thermal, and battery. These can either be co-located with, or separate from, a solar system and may be used alone or in combination.

Backup generators are a common way to produce electricity during power outages, but they require fossil fuels and create carbon emissions. Solar batteries, on the other hand, are an environmentally friendly alternative that can be used for both backup and off-grid power. Solar storage systems can also improve grid operation by smoothing out energy production and demand. This can help to avoid the duck curve, which is a graph that shows when solar production exceeds power demand.

Regardless of the specific type of storage system being utilized, all options offer environmental benefits such as reducing reliance on fossil fuels and promoting a greener future. Additionally, homes and businesses that use solar with storage can reduce their carbon footprint and increase the value of their property. As the popularity of solar continues to rise, understanding the benefits of solar energy storage is important for any homeowner or business considering going solar. For more information on how solar and storage can enhance resilience, schedule a demo of Aurora’s software.

Time-of-Use Rates

Many utility companies use Time of Use (TOU) rates to charge higher electricity prices during peak demand hours. Solar energy storage systems allow homeowners to shift their electricity consumption to off-peak hours and avoid these expensive rates. This is especially beneficial for households that rely on air conditioning, which typically consumes the most electricity in residential buildings.

Homeowners can also benefit from solar energy storage in the event of a grid outage. When the grid goes down, most solar panel systems will shut off automatically as a safety precaution. Storage batteries can provide backup power to keep appliances running during a blackout, which gives peace of mind for homeowners concerned about wildfires or other natural disasters that cause grid outages.

Energy storage can be found in a variety of formats, from hydrogen fuel cells to molten salts to lithium-ion batteries. Each technology has different advantages and disadvantages. Some storage solutions are designed for short periods, while others have longer lifespans and can help reduce or eliminate energy costs for months at a time.

Solar+storage systems have been shown to deliver significant economic benefits under TOU rates for affordable housing buildings, with a payback period of three years or less. Clean Energy Group worked with Geli, a software company that uses big data analytics, to analyze the value of PV + battery systems under flat and TOU rates.

Off-Grid

Having a solar energy storage system can 12v-starting-battery help you go off-grid. However, most people who have solar power are grid-tied which means their system is connected to the electric grid and they can draw electricity when their panels aren’t producing (night time or during periods of little sunlight) and also send any excess energy back to the grid to earn credits on their electric bills (net metering billing).

Most homeowners who want to go off-grid need an electric generator to provide alternatives for the times that batteries run low or when they need to be fully charged again. Additionally, they need to be sure to choose a battery that can be used off-grid, such as the new lithium batteries that have replaced older lead-acid batteries.

The good news is that, thanks to the extension of the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for 2024 and numerous state incentives, it’s now more cost-effective to add a solar storage device to your existing grid-tied system or to create an off-grid solar + storage solution. Our team can help you determine which size of battery storage is right for your home and how to integrate it with your solar panel installation.

Adding a solar energy storage device to your existing or new system allows you to use more of the electricity that you generate, protect against outages, and take advantage of the utility’s high rates during peak demand hours. Ultimately, it helps you become less reliant on the electric grid and ensures that you’re using only clean, renewable energy from your solar panels made with sun, wind, water or waste.

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