This utility is paying its solar customers to adopt energy storage – pv magazine USA
The incentive program requires that the batteries be charged by the in-house solar power system in order to fully qualify.
October 28, 2021
Electric utility Rocky Mountain Power (RMP) is incentivizing over 50,000 residential and commercial solar power owners in Utah to install utility-managed sonnen batteries. The company will use the batteries as part of a virtual power plant to provide energy when needed.
RMP said it will pay the solar owner a one-time incentive of $ 400 to $ 600 per kW of energy delivery capacity, depending on when they installed solar power. After the larger incentive is paid for the first year, the utility pays an ongoing annual capacity payment of $ 15 / kW.
RMP said it could cut these incentives in the future as needed. Here are the numbers as provided by the utility.
The utility told potential customers that it would not use the batteries from November to February except in grid emergencies. From March to October, the utility can use the batteries every day due to the high electricity demand. In its FAQ, RMP stated that it will not discharge batteries below 10% and also assured customers that it will not discharge customers’ batteries below 50% in the first year of the program.
The incentive program requires that the batteries be charged by the local solar power system in order to fully qualify for the 26% solar tax incentive; however, no express reference was made to a technical requirement for this.
The supplier announced that sonnen batteries are to be used in the program. sonnen offers two batteries: the 10 kWh Core and the Eco. The Eco is available in two flavors, a 20 kWh Eco and a 30 kWh EcoLink.
The 4.8 kW core is rewarded with an incentive payment of between $ 1,920 and $ 2,880. The 3-7 kW Eco will make $ 1,200 to $ 4,200, and an 8 kW EcoLinx will make $ 3,200 to $ 4,800.
Distributed electricity is the grid
sonnen was the logical choice for this program as it created one of the first virtual power plant batteries (VPP) that brought the sonnenCommunity program to life. The company’s VPP first came to the United States in 2017 in an Arizona community.
The use of solar power storage in residential buildings as a power grid system has increased. Sunrun first made its breakthrough in 2018 when it won a tender for its projects to become part of the ISO New England capacity market. Since then, there have been a number of announcements, including $ 500,000 saved during heatwaves, Tesla in California, and the ConnectedSolutions program in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
A Nor’easter in late October helped support energy storage at home.
With the United States recently phasing out three million solar panel installations (and because we have solid evidence that decentralized solar energy saves huge sums of money on grid upgrades), it only makes sense for government grids to develop publicly owned resources.
In fact, research by Vibrant Clean Energy suggests hundreds of billions could be saved if the value of distributed solar + storage is fully realized by 2045.
This is of course before we consider the value of resilience for local businesses and homeowners. The Texas grid collapse in February, killing hundreds, and ongoing challenges in California have fueled consumer demand for energy storage at home.
Add this breaking news to the list: This author writes this article in the midst of a Nor’easter event that saw 66% of the remote workforce and more than 600,000 customer accounts (over a million people) in the New England area.
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