The Beginning of the End for the Utilities?

​​​While California’s investor-owned utilities continue to grapple with the solar power industry, solar with energy storage may tip the scales in the battle for market supremacy. In a big step toward grid independence, over one thousand ratepayers recently signed up to get batteries installed at their California properties. Solar and energy storage now offer financial savings and a possible solution to free homeowners from perceived market manipulation at the hands of the utilities.

“This is the solar of tomorrow, today — people can be grid independent instead of being subject to the whims of investor-owned utilities,” said Daniel Sullivan, founder and president of Sullivan Solar Power, “Solar customers don’t need the greedy utility companies anymore now that we have solar paired with batteries.” 

Homeowners can go solar with a battery, finance the cost, and own the system outright in 12 years for less than their electric bill. The amount of compensation the utilities are offering to people producing power is going to be reduced; batteries allow energy to be stored during the day and used in the evenings, maximizing the return on investment for solar.

Daniel Sullivan,
Founder and president of Sullivan Solar Power

The state of California is encouraging homeowners and businesses to install batteries for their properties by offering financial incentives. On May 1, the state of California re-opened the Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), which provides preferential rebates for batteries that are paired with solar power systems. It is a multi-step program where incentives reduce over time. Some applicants in the first step will be able to have their entire energy storage unit paid for by the state rebate and possibly be eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit.  

“Homeowners can go solar with a battery, finance the cost and own the system outright in 12 years for less than their electric bill,” said Sullivan, who explained that batteries are now a necessary component to any solar power system. “The amount of compensation the utilities are offering to people producing power is going to be reduced; batteries allow energy to be stored during the day and used in the evenings, maximizing the return on investment for solar.”  

Last Monday, 1,660 applications were submitted for the first step of the rebate program. The impact is substantial — the amount of batteries in the program queue store enough energy to power approximately 2,800 homes in the early evening when utility demand peaks. Utilities have complained it is a struggle to meet demand in the early evening when solar generation dips from their solar power plants in the desert going offline.  

The top two battery technologies that dominated the recent program applications were LG Chem and Panasonic. Panasonic batteries are incorporated into the Tesla Powerwall. The top statewide developer for the Tesla Powerwall was SolarCity. The top statewide developer for LG Chem was Sullivan Solar Power.  

“The technology is here to pair a battery with solar to allow self-sustaining energy that doesn’t harm the environment to power our homes,” said Jonathan Lim, a San Marcos resident who is slated to receive his battery and solar power system next month, “My wife and I liked the idea of being off-grid and wanted the battery as security in case of a blackout to power our home’s basic needs in a sustainable manner.”

For more information about batteries, visit www.sullivansolarpower.com/solar-battery.

Media contact: Tara Kelly | 858-886-6342 | tara.kelly@sullivansolarpower.com

Source: Sullivan Solar Power