The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

SolarCity Resumes Storage Applications After California Decision

SolarCity Resumes Storage Applications After California Decision

SolarCity Corp., the largest U.S. solar-power provider by market value, will resume applications to connect energy-storage systems in California after regulators said they’re exempt from utility fees.

Utilities are barred from imposing charges including connection fees of as much as $800, the California Public Utility Commission said in a proposed decision yesterday. The commission typically adopts these proposed decisions and a final ruling may come as early as May 15.

SolarCity in March stopped applying to install and connect storage systems for hundreds of customers in the state because utilities were requiring a series of applications and fees that made the process onerous. Combining rooftop solar panels with batteries to retain the energy for later use makes people less dependent on local power companies, a potential threat to the utility monopoly.

“When we first started it wasn’t clear to us that these fees would be charged,” Peter Rive, chief commercial officer of San Mateo, California-based SolarCity, said in an interview. “We’re happy with the decision.”

Sempra Energy’s San Diego Gas & Electric Co. opposes the exemptions for storage in comments to the commission, saying in comments to the commission that the technology will shift some costs to customers without such systems. PG&E Corp.’s Pacific Gas & Electric Co. wants the exemptions only for residential customers and only for a trial period.

Grid Tool

Battery-storage systems at customer sites with solar panels should be welcomed by utilities as an additional tool to manage the grid and reduce costs for all consumers, Rive said. If hundreds of such systems were connected to the grid, a utility could tap the stored energy during periods of peak demand instead of building a new natural gas plant.

“There are massive benefits to including this storage on the grid,” Rive said. “There’s a misconception that we want to remove people from the grid. There’s a positive network benefit from storage.”

Storage will be an important part of the power grid as the utility industry evolves to take better advantage of renewable energy, Rive said in a blog post today.

SolarCity introduced a program to lease batteries to solar customers in California and New England last year through 10- year contracts that have no upfront costs. The company says customers will typically save more on demand charges than they will pay each month for the systems.

Lead image: Installing Solar on a house in California via Shutterstock

Copyright 2014 Bloomberg

RELATED ARTICLES

Tesla batteries

Advanced Microgrid to Buy Tesla Batteries for Storage Projects

Justin Doom, Bloomberg Advanced Microgrid Solutions, a provider of energy-storage systems, agreed to buy as much as 500 megawatt-hours of battery capacity from Tesla Motors Inc.
Students and solar powered cars with energy storage

Rain or Shine, Students Keep Their Solar Race Cars Going with Energy Storage

Wayne Hicks, NREL Teegan and Kira Cordova love the original Star Trek TV series. That much is obvious. The eighth-grade twins from Ken Caryl Middle School in Littleton are wearing the uniform tunics from the 1960s show — Teegan's in red and...
MIT Clean Energy Prize

MIT Clean Energy Prize Awards $400,000 to Energy Efficiency, Renewable Ventures

Eric Kirchblum, MIT Earlier this month, the MIT Clean Energy Prize (CEP) announced the winners of the 2015 competition at the Eversource MIT Clean Energy Prize Showcase & Grand Prize Awards Ceremony, where it awarded over $400,000, includ...

The Big Question: What Is the Most Frustrating Part about Working in Renewable Energy?

Renewable Energy World Editors

Every industry has its challenges and misunderstandings. Sometimes the obstacles we face in simply trying to do our jobs can be very frustrating.

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 3
1505REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

PV-301: Advanced PV Design & Installation

This highly desirable and advanced course is intended for the profession...

PV-401: Advanced Field Training

Real world on the job solar installation, training, and experience is th...

PV-201: Introduction to PV Design & Installation

PV 201 Introduction to PV Design & Installation is simply the best i...

COMPANY BLOGS

Five Reasons to Go Solar Now

Solar’s popularity has skyrocketed recently, thanks to a price dro...

How to Reduce Soft Costs With a Critical Path Map

For solar installers, soft costs are a fact of life. However, they don&r...

Building Rapport

How do you build rapport with your prospect? This is a question that I a...

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS