Battery Storage For Solar Panel Energy

As a Myrtle Beach Solar Power company we receive inquiries from residents in both SC and NC about battery storage for solar energy.
Many of the Solar Energy systems being installed today do not have battery backup for the power. Solar panels produce energy and then house uses that energy as it is produced. The home remains tied to the power grid so that when the solar panels are not producing energy (such as during nighttime) the home can get its needed energy from the electric company. For those that do not want to be reliant on the power company, battery storage may be a consideration.
In a non-battery system, the solar panels produce energy for the house which is used for the home’s energy. In situations where the solar panels are producing more energy than the house needs at the time, the power is “fed” back to the power company through a net metering system. It is important for a customer to check with their power company to see if the utility company will buy back the power and at what rate they will purchase it for. In the Myrtle Beach area, both Santee Cooper and Horry Electric buy back excess solar power from residences (as of this writing in 2017). However, while Horry Electric buys back power at the same rate they charge customers per kilowatt hour, Santee Cooper buys back at a lower rate.
The advantage of a battery system is that the extra energy being produced will be stored in the battery for usage when the sun is not out. This gives the homeowner the ability to be independent of the power system if the homeowner is producing enough energy. It must be noted that to produce enough energy to go “off grid” in this manner the system cost could be quite expensive. A homeowner might still want the battery even if not going entirely off grid if they want to maximize their solar panel energy savings by using their power at night instead of selling to the power company at a potentially reduced rate.
One might ask that if a battery system has this advantage, why are they not regularly used? The reason is mainly about the cost factor. The batteries are expensive which adds to the frontend cost of the system by anywhere from $7,000 to $15,000 typically (depending on battery capacity). This makes a longer payback period for the overall cost of the system. Being that the savings are only for a portion of the day, the time taken to recapture that investment can be quite long in comparison to the rest of the solar installation.
If you are interested in finding out if battery storage for your solar panels is for you, talk to your solar representative for more information or a quote.

By | 2017-11-01T08:20:31-04:00 November 1st, 2017|Blog|