If you’ve done the basic research on solar energy and solar installation, you’ve probably seen battery storage mentioned a time or two. You may even already know that battery storage combined with a solar photovoltaic (PV) system has the ability to power a home completely independently from the power grid. But how do you know if it’s right for your home?
A lot of homeowners throughout San Antonio and Austin, TX, as well as Colorado Springs, Denver, and Pueblo, CO come to CAM Solar asking if they should install battery storage along with their residential solar systems, so we wanted to go through the pros and cons so you can determine if your home is a good candidate for battery storage.
An Overview of Solar Battery Storage
Let’s make sure we’ve got the basics down when it comes to battery storage — when you have a trusted solar contractor install solar panels on your roof or property, those panels are connected to an inverter which prepares the raw solar electricity for use in your home. That electricity is either immediately used to power the lights, appliances and devices of your home, or it is sent back to the grid for use in other homes (in exchange for a credit on your electricity bill). Because this system is still tied to the grid, if there is an unexpected outage like a storm or a downed powerline, it will still affect the electricity in your home.
With a battery storage system in place (also known as solar-plus-storage), that excess energy that comes from your inverter is saved for later use overnight, when your solar PV system is not generating electricity. If you have enough panels installed to meet your energy needs, your home can be completely removed from the grid and any unexpected outages.
The Upside to Battery Storage
The two biggest benefits of having a solar-plus-storage system installed are:
Independence from the grid
No more electricity bills
Since you are no longer connected to the grid, you don’t owe the electricity company a bill each month, and if there is an outage in the electrical grid, your home can keep the lights on! Battery storage will also greatly reduce your carbon footprint over the life of your system, which is an industry standard 25 years or more.
The Downside to Battery Storage
In order for a solar-plus-storage system to be viable for total energy independence, you will have to have enough year round sunlight on your property to keep the “juice” flowing day and night, as well as ample space on your roof or the grounds of your property to mount the necessary solar panels. This can come at a much larger sticker price than a more traditional solar PV system.
So, Is Battery Storage Right for You?
Before you pull the trigger on battery storage, we recommend you answer a few questions first:
How many power outages do you experience per year?
Do you have enough unobstructed sunlight on your roof or property?
Will your energy savings over the life of your system offset installation costs?
At CAM Solar, we know that some of these questions are hard to answer without an expert there to help you. We can help you qualify for any available rebates and incentives for your solar installation, show you our previous work in our solar portfolio, and crunch the numbers with you to determine if your home is a good candidate for battery storage.