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Batteries with Solar – Ready for Prime Time
October 27, 2016

As stated in a recent article in Hawaii Business News: “Batteries – The other half of Hawaii’s energy future”, we need a way to provider electricity when the sun doesn’t shine.

The same can be said for the California market, only a few years more down the road. The market for storage is expected to be worth $8 billion by 2026 according to Lux Research, an independent research firm on emerging technologies.

Analyst projections may vary but the message is clear: the energy storage market potential is real.

Some of the biggest corporate names including LG Chem, Sony, Samsung and game changing Tesla, are all shipping products. Major solar companies like SolarCity, SunPower and Borrego and others have solar/storage programs going on now.

For Hawaii, storage has become an essential piece of the solar solution for Ratepayers to save solar export. The new utility programs made it uneconomical to send daytime solar back to the utility during and, in some programs will even penalize a Ratepayer. Not only are the utility programs causing this flight to storage, but the Governor signed into law for the State to be100% free of fossil fuel electricity by 2045. Hawaii is the leading US market for storage utilization!

As the most oil dependent state in the nation, making the transition to 100% renewables saves us money, improves our economy and environment and increases energy security,” Governor David Ice, State of Hawaii

Power Quality and more.
A tangible and often forgotten benefit of storage is power quality. Utility grid fluctuations ripple through a building normally without issue, however on some islands they are already seeing voltage swings greater than industry standards causing harm to DC power supplies, computers, audio/visual equipment and many other potentially expensive electronic devices used by Doctors, Dentists and other businesses. With our ever growing dependency on email, smart phones, laptops and technology in general,the need for good power quality is necessary for most all businesses.

Solar and storage is an eventual merging of products for both Hawaii and California markets.Storage provides Ratepayers with the ability to control their own electricity generation, reduce utility demand charges, improve power quality and lower their carbon footprint!

Handling storage exposure in the services agreement.

Battery companies provide a 10 year warranty. With individual battery management controllers,expectations are the batteries will have 10 to 15 year useful lives. New solar agreements are being offered with a 10 year term to minimize exposure and include a “Battery Addendum” that defines the use of batteries as a declining life product based on usage cycles and not just years of service. The goal will be the future cost of battery replacement will be borne by the Ratepayerno matter what the time period.