Wondering if you should get a battery with your solar system? With recent products such as Tesla Powerwalls and the advent of electric cars, energy storage is poised to become the next “big thing” in the solar industry. The installed volume of solar batteries was doubled from 2016 to 2017, and again from 2017 to 2018. Since January 2019, 50% of the 2018 average has already been installed.

The rapid growth in battery storage is because installing these units makes a lot of sense. Costs have decreased and consumers have increasing concerns regarding power outages and the safety of their solar investments from utilities. Utilities are making changes to their pricing structures and energy storage - completely removing dependence on the utility - is a valid alternative.

The rise in solar batteries, especially Tesla Powerwall, has led homeowners to think about getting energy storage with their residential solar panel installations. Also, federal tax credit (that expires in 2019) can be applied to the cost of installing a battery with your solar panel system in some states. As Yellowlite is a solar expert and not a tax expert, before getting a battery, it would be best if you consult your tax advisor as tax codes can be complicated.

How do solar batteries work?

Typically, with a solar panel system, you export the excess solar energy you produce back to the grid, and the utility pays you for it - this is called “net metering.” Additionally, during a power outage, most standard solar systems cannot work - the National Electric Code prohibits it. However, a battery can store your excess energy, and provide that power both during the night (when the system is not producing) and during an outage.

There are multiple advantages to this. First, the comfort of having power in an outage cannot be overstated. Secondly, in areas where the utility charges more for peak hours or does not offer “net metering,” having the battery store your solar energy can be a massive financial boon.

There are multiple batteries available on the market. By far the most powerful energy storage solution is the Tesla Powerwall, which holds 13.5 kWh of power - this is enough to power the full usage of a family for a full 24 hours.

New Advances in Solar Batteries

Solar batteries like Tesla Powerwall have made great advancements. Such battery systems provide seamless backup power during utility outages. In certain instances, you can even run your home from solar and Powerwall indefinitely. Another feature that seems to be going around is that you can monitor your home energy. This way you get to keep track of your solar, Powerwall, and home energy in real time on your mobile app.

Energy storage is quite a young industry, and there are many states and municipalities that encourage the installation of these solar batteries. For example, Ohio used solar and storage to expand for its municipal utility. It was confirmed that the benefits projected for the utility exceeded expected projection in the first 18 months.

If you’re interested in a quote on a Tesla Powerwall or battery, let us know! 2019 is a great time to get a battery due to the 30% federal tax credit still available. Make a sound investment with solar panels in Chicago and anywhere else in the United States!