The Value of Energy Storage Systems Combined with Solar Electric Systems Dramatic scenes from recent weather events have given many of us a sense that the routine of our daily lives can be profoundly altered with little or no warning at all. As hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria mercilessly battered the southern US states, Puerto Rico and surrounding islands of the West Indies, those of us outside their destructive path watched and wondered what the final outcome would be. The scenes pictured in one’s imagination were quickly replaced by the reality of news and images that confirmed the tragic consequences. Massive flooding, homes destroyed or severely damaged, ubiquitous debris fields that reveal just how personal and widespread the damage was. And, in the majority of those areas, a loss of electrical power that has an effect of magnifying the sense of helplessness faced in this new reality.
While the loss of electrical power is seen by most as an inconvenience, the truth is that such a loss can quickly lead to loss of life. During the aftermath of hurricane Irma, eight elderly people died at a South Florida nursing home as a direct consequence of power outages and the incidental lack of air-conditioning. For the elderly and other vulnerable segments of our population, reliance on the availability of electricity can lead to dire consequences when that reliance is put to the test. Many choose to rely on fossil fuel based generators to keep the power flowing, but even they can be affected by the widespread loss of power, as they rely on the availability of fuel from transportation networks and the pumps that deliver it.
Enter the new generation of Energy Storage Systems (batteries), complemented by an energy generating system (solar electric). The synergy of these two systems provide a level of energy security and convenience unmatched by any competing system with comparable benefits. In fact, this type of solid state system of energy production, storage, and management provides value unlike anything else available. In addition to providing backup power during a utility outage, Energy Storage Systems coupled with a solar electric system provide the ability to capture and use ALL of your locally generated electricity, while also providing unprecedented energy management choices. As utility rate tariffs applicable to solar electric systems mature, the likelihood of decreasing compensation for excess power becomes more of a reality. As evidenced by recent changes adopted by the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission, more support for utility revenue protection and the concept of “non by-passable” charges are increasingly accepted as legitimate practice. The end result – energy generated by your solar electric system, which is not immediately utilized at your premises, is delivered to the grid and credited back to you at a rate less than you pay when consuming power from the grid. Under this scenario, the better option is to NOT deliver any excess power to the utility, but rather store that power locally for use later on when it’s needed – typically when the sun goes down.
Future utility rate tariffs are being designed to include “time-of-use” rates that, depending on your point of view, encourage or discourage consumption of electricity during certain time periods throughout the day. This type of rate design is common in some parts of the country, but relatively uncommon for the New England area residential markets. The conceptual drive behind this type of rate structure is to recognize the time value of electricity, and to communicate pricing ques to rate-payers in an attempt to shape consumer behavior concerning when and how power is consumed. When these rates are implemented, an Energy Storage System can eliminate or mitigate consumption of high cost power by shifting consumption of utility power to off-peak periods. This not only puts you back in control, but may allow additional monetary benefits related to energy arbitrage, i.e. delivering high value electricity to the grid during peak hours and later reclaiming the energy during off-peak hours.
Energy Storage Systems complement and multiply the benefits realized from solar electric power systems. Solar Source (Keene, NH) has the direct experience, expertise and understanding to bring these benefits to you. We take the time to listen to your needs and then show you the best options available for your unique situation. Give us a call today and start your journey to total energy independence. (603) 352-4232.
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