By far, one of the most noticeable new products offered at this year’s Solar Power International was the plethora of Commercial Storage options. Solar Storage is a relatively new hybrid of both grid tie and battery based systems. Historically, the Solar Industry started with off-grid, battery-based systems that granted customers autonomy from big electric utilities. However as policies and technology made it more convenient and less expensive to create grid-tie systems, the industry transitioned away from batteries.
Within the last couple years, some of the biggest names in Solar—SunPower, SMA, Kyocera—have begun creating technology that would allow for both grid tie and batteries to exist within the same system using Solar Storage. Especially with lithium-ion batteries projected to continue to drop in price, this is becoming a more economically feasible and attractive option—especially for commercial businesses.
Many electric utilities charge their customers differently during certain times of the day. So when most people are using electricity, otherwise known as “Peak” hours, the utility companies increase their rates. The commercial solar market in Colorado is not always an easy sell for PV as kWh energy prices tend to be low and the majority of a business owner’s bill is in the KW demand charges. So if commercial businesses can actively switch from grid-tie to their Solar Storage during those peak hours, they can save a significant amount on their electric bill.
This is a very exciting new trend in Solar, and I hope more commercial businesses will take notice of how they can cut costs while significantly decreasing their carbon footprint.
If you are interested in solar for your business contact one of our Commercial Solar Consultants at (970) 963-1420