SAN MATEO, Calif. |NEWS RELEASE —
SolarCity will make more affordable battery storage available to residential, business and government customers across the U.S., and remote communities around the world. SolarCity Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Peter Rive provided additional detail about the rollout tonight in a post on the company’s blog.
For businesses and government organizations, SolarCity will incorporate the new Tesla battery into its DemandLogic energy storage system to significantly increase the utility cost savings customers can realize from using stored solar electricity.
DemandLogic, which is being adopted by several of the largest retail, biotech and Internet companies in the U.S., allows businesses to reduce energy costs by using stored electricity to reduce peak demand, and can also provide backup power during grid outages. DemandLogic’s management software automates the discharge of stored energy to optimize savings on utility demand charges for customers.
For remote communities around the world, SolarCity will incorporate the new Tesla battery into its GridLogic microgrid service. GridLogic combines distributed energy resources—solar energy systems, batteries and controllable load—to enable a cleaner, more resilient and more affordable way of providing power. SolarCity’s microgrid service will ensure that any community anywhere in the world vulnerable to power outages and high energy costs—including remote or island communities, hospitals and military bases—can have dependable, clean power off-grid, when the grid is down. GridLogic can operate either in conjunction with or independently of the utility grid.
For residential solar customers, SolarCity will provide a turnkey battery backup service that includes permitting, installation and ongoing monitoring. Equipment includes Tesla’s home battery, the Tesla Powerwall, which consists of an advanced hybrid solar/battery, inverter and monitoring and control systems. The fully-installed system stores electricity generated from the solar power system, using that power to automatically provide backup power during utility grid outages. SolarCity’s battery backup service replaces noisy, dirty fossil fuel generators with zero-emission storage technology. Roughly the size of a suitcase, the sleek, enclosed pack can be easily mounted on indoor or outdoor walls.
When a power outage occurs, the control system immediately begins feeding power to the home from the solar system and the battery to continue operating the most commonly needed, eligible circuits selected by the customer, including the refrigerator, lighting, computer, alarm system and electrical outlets. When the battery is depleted, it can be recharged by solar power even if the outage continues for multiple days.
Incorporating Tesla’s new battery technology, SolarCity is now able to configure a solar system (along with other energy management technologies) as a stand-alone, off-grid power supply. SolarCity plans to first offer these off-grid systems to eligible Hawaii customers that might otherwise be prevented from using solar power.
The combination of solar power generation and battery storage will make the utility grid safer and less susceptible to service interruptions, and will also lower the cost to expand and maintain the grid. SolarCity’s energy storage rollout supports efforts already underway in multiple states to integrate aggregated storage capacity with existing grid resources. A distributed network of solar power systems and energy storage devices can also make renewable energy available on demand to utilities and their customers.
In the future, distributed solar and storage resources are likely to become marketable assets, and homeowners and businesses may be able to collect revenues by providing self-generated, clean energy to others.
SolarCity will begin taking orders for the new energy storage systems on May 1st and expects to begin installing customers in October. SolarCity will initially make its battery backup options available only to new solar customers in the company’s current service area, and will accommodate customers on a first-come, first-served basis. The company plans to make the battery backup system available to its existing solar customers later this year. Off-grid solutions offered in Hawaii are expected to become available in the first half of 2016.