A large number of early adopters of solar power were disappointed to find out that if their panels were tied into the grid, they would not automatically have power if the grid went down. Now, battery storage is more accessible than ever and able to provide power when the grid goes down. The state of California even has an incentive for solar PV users to add storage to their systems.
The California Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) has been brought back and is now including Advanced Energy Storage (aka battery backup). So, what does that mean for Californians? This is a big step towards energy independence, even for the grid-tied utility customer. How can we go from 30-40% clean energy all the way to +70% here in California? The answer is a more flexible grid. And energy storage is part of the solution that provides us with that flexibility.
With the revived program, homeowners or business owners who have already gone solar or are now installing a solar system can invest in energy storage and store their generated electricity for use later and avoid using the energy generated from their solar systems during peak times. It’s the old adage “buy low, sell high.”
Now customers of PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E can save $1.80/W for energy storage, plus an additional 20% of the incentive when installing products from a California supplier. There are of course limitations and exclusions of this program – customers must be grid-tied to one of the eligible utilities, must use new equipment installed by a California-licensed contractor, and cannot be connected to a non-renewable generator, such as a standard diesel generator. But for that, they are only required to pay a minimum of 40% of the project cost!
This renewal of incentives in California will help the state reach its renewable energy goals as well as reduce emissions and peak demand. If the promise of an incentive wasn’t enough to add storage to your solar PV system, the knowledge that it will will pay to add storage early just might be, since the incentive will decrease 10% each year.
Read more about California’s power storage incentive at Clean Technica.