Solar energy is sometimes criticized for being undependable, only working during the daytime, and being limited by snow during the winter months. In reality, solar energy is far from limiting and storage solutions are far more accessible than ever before.
Easily stored and distributed
Solar energy produced via a residential or commercial solar photovoltaic (PV) system is typically tied to the energy grid. However, property owners can also add an onsite energy storage system to utilize the energy they produce on demand. Many of these systems are now small, self-contained structures that can be operated via an app to determine when and even where within your home or business the stored energy is distributed for use. To learn more about the uses and benefits of adding a battery storage system, you can read our recent blog post Considering Installing Solar? Why Including a Battery Backup is a Good Idea.
Although not a direct form of solar energy storage, grid-tied solar photovoltaic (PV) systems in states with net metering laws can send excess energy back to the power grid for distribution to other homes and businesses. The extra energy produced by solar PV systems owners, in states with net metering, can earn credits to be applied to their utility bills when they need to pull energy from the grid later. Net metering essentially turns your local power grid into an “energy credit” storage system of sorts.
Large-scale energy storage is on the rise
With the growing popularity of renewable energy and the increased efficiency of energy storage systems, many utility companies are seeking to increase the amount of renewable energy they provide to their customers. Utility companies are now implementing large-scale or what’s sometimes called utility-scale energy storage systems. These new large-scale storage systems can store hundreds of megawatts (MWh), helping power hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses with clean, renewable solar energy even when the sun isn’t shining.
Large-scale storage systems present the opportunity to overcome one of the biggest obstacles with solar power—the fluctuation from overproduction during peak sunshine to no production at night. Although large-scale energy storage can store and distribute clean, renewable energy at any time of day to thousands of consumers via the electrical grid, many independent property owners are still choosing to add their own energy systems to safeguard against rising energy prices or sudden power outages.