Solar-paired energy storage is a powerful tool to keep your home or business running when the grid goes down instead of relying on fossil fuel powered generators. There are also climate benefits of energy storage when it is used daily. There are many solar+ battery solutions that allow you to store your solar electricity in your battery and then use that electricity every evening when the sun goes down. By using your stored energy, you avoid purchasing electricity from the grid in the early evening, when grid electricity is the most expensive and the most dependent on natural gas combustion. These batteries can also be used for backup purposes.
Home Energy Storage Workshops
In Fall/Winter 2019, CEC hosted three energy storage workshops in response to a growing interest in solar-paired battery systems. At the workshops, participants gained insight into the technical, financial, and safety considerations of tying batteries to solar energy as a backup power source. The first hour featured a series of speakers from public utilities, nonprofits, energy storage companies, and city or county energy updates. Afterwards, homeowners connected with local energy companies to discuss products and services.
CEC is planning to hold similar workshops in 2020. If you are interested in learning more, or have ideas for these events, please contact April Price [email protected].
Energy Resilience in the Face of Power Outages
“Thousands of people lost electricity in Northern California last week, and Southern California Edison announced thousands more in Santa Barbara will face the same threat this week. With the prospect of long term power outages, we have seen a big uptick in energy storage inquiries,” stated April Price, CEC’s Renewable Energy Program Manager. “We want to help people see that generators aren’t the only option; solar-paired batteries are a safe, easy-to-use power backup solution.”
Former head of Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management Rob Lewin said, “Whether due to climate change-induced disasters or public safety power shutoffs, our electrical grid is vulnerable. Now is the time to create clean, reliable back-up power supplies to protect our families, our businesses, and our communities.” Lewin spoke about the importance of energy resilience at the Santa Barbara workshop on November 13.
Resources & Media
- October 23, 2019 – Potential Public Safety Power Shutoffs Spike Interest In Home Solar/Battery Systems On South Coast. KCLU.org.
- November 14, 2019 – Slide presentation from Santa Barbara Workshop (PDF)
- December 2, 2019 – Slide presentation from Ventura Workshop (PDF)
- December 10, 2019 – Slide presentation from Montecito Workshop (PDF)
An update to a statement made in the video above: To the best of our understanding, SMA Sunnyboy inverters are indeed a viable a solution for homeowners that have solar and would like to access a working outlet when the grid goes down (and the sun is shining). We apologize for any confusion our response created at the Santa Barbara event, as our information was out of date. The issue with the Sunny Boy SMA inverter had to do with the secure power supply (SPS) not complying with California electrical code. The company has since created a work around for compliance.