Battery technology is revolutionizing the auto industry with affordable, battery-powered cars. They are now outperforming nearly everything on the road. And now solar battery storage systems are revolutionizing the home industry too.
With home-energy battery costs falling and capacities rising, Valley Solar is now recommending battery storage systems for new PV (solar power system) customers as well as existing ones who want clean, reliable back-up power.
As compared to traditional propane or gas generator systems, battery plus PV offers many positives:
Most important for PV customers, when the grid goes down your PV system will keep right on producing in an off-grid capacity, indefinitely.
“In 2009 there were an estimated 2,840 outage events, affecting more than 13 million people. Fast-forward to 2017, and nearly 37 million people were affected by 3,526 outage events. ” (Eaton’s Blackout Tracker, 2018)
If you think that power failure events are becoming more frequent, it’s not your imagination.
As weather disruptions become more frequent and more severe, grid outages will become more common and more difficult to repair.
Imagine a polar vortex with fierce winds, arctic temperatures, falling tree limbs and yes, lightening. The sky booms overhead, your house groans, the lights flicker and then all goes black. But before even a word leaves your lips, you hear the distinct click of your battery transfer switch.
Your lights, refrigeration and heat are all back within microseconds. This could spell the difference between a night spent warm, safe and comfortable at home and one spent huddled on a gymnasium floor.
In addition to providing critical emergency power, battery storage when paired with PV is also a great way to “future proof” your energy system. Massachusetts is working on a dynamic electric rate program under the “Clean Peaks” initiative whereby it will be cheaper to buy electricity during “off-peak” hours. Battery owners will be able to fill their batteries from their PV system or even the grid and then dispense them during peak hours thereby “peak shaving” to save costs, another advantage to battery storage over traditional generators.
Battery storage can also serve as the “brains” of a home-automation system. Valley Solar, in partnership with parent company Valley Home Improvement, offers PV and battery-tied home automation systems.
Installed costs range from $15,000 to over $30,000 depending on battery chemistry, storage capacity, measured in kilowatt hours, and continuous power output, measured in kilowatts.
The good news for existing PV owners is that a 2018 IRS private letter ruling allowed that battery systems retrofitted to existing PV systems are eligible for the 30% federal tax credit. This works even if the PV was purchased in a different tax year (check with your tax adviser).
With the 30% tax credit factored in, battery storage becomes a very attractive option for PV owners. Under the new MA SMART program, additional incentives are built in for battery storage that can offset approximately 20% of the cost. (Note: The SMART storage incentive is not available for PV systems installed before the launch of the SMART program).
Selecting the right system for your home is based on your energy usage profile and a prioritization of your needs. Valley Solar can provide you with the expertise to evaluate battery storage and home automation solutions for a safe, secure energy future.
Do you have questions about battery storage?
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