The case for pairing home solar and battery grew even stronger this year: new legislation in California activated the Demand Side Grid Support (DSGS) program, which features multiple strategies for leveraging residential, commercial, and industrial energy sources to decentralize and reinforce the state’s power supply as its aging grid suffers from increasing vulnerability.
DSGS introduced new incentives for homeowners who contribute to load reduction and backup generation during extreme events, as California’s grid experiences energy supply shortages linked to wildfires, heatwaves, and other impacts of climate change. One of the program’s incentive options focuses on home batteries, giving participants the opportunity to support the grid with stored solar power during periods of significant need from May through October in exchange for payments based on demonstrated battery capacity.
The program equips batteries to serve as virtual power plants that contribute to a more robust, decentralized power supply, offering greater stability and recovery for the grid in periods of high demand while simultaneously leveraging the financial benefits of solar and battery for participants. DSGS demonstrates the importance of informing solar customers of the growing benefits of storing solar power with batteries.
Now more than ever before, those who have solar without battery storage are poised to miss out on the full advantage of solar power. When solar professionals educate new or existing customers on the benefits of solar plus battery, they help homeowners harness the full power of their system and maximize its financial benefits, positioning homeowners to align with evolving demand side programs.
As installers work with homeowners who are installing solar, communicating the advantages of battery storage will help customers feel educated about their options and ultimately optimize their home solar system through battery integration. Homeowners are looking for battery storage solutions that offer the following features, which installers should convey to customers considering solar:
Versatility: The ideal battery storage solution is compatible with a wide variety of solar panels, allowing solar systems to include battery storage regardless of the solar panels’ manufacturer. The Generac PWRcell, a home battery designed to pair with solar panels from most manufacturers, allows seamless integration of battery storage with a new solar installation, enabling the system to participate in programs like DSGS.
Modularity: A modular battery design allows homeowners to expand storage capacity as their power needs evolve, which means solar systems can efficiently meet the needs of a household even if those needs change. Offering the ability to install between three and six battery modules in a battery cabinet, PWRcell helps scale battery systems in increments of 3kWh, from 9kWh to up to 36kWh with two battery cabinets. PWRcell offers more flexibility and modularity for battery storage so that systems can adapt and maximize efficiency.
Power Output: Supplying 30% more power output than other options, PWRcell provides peace of mind for homeowners who want assurance that essential household appliances can power through during an outage. Plus, PWRcell’s higher capacity offers the opportunity to earn greater financial incentives through DSGS by supplying power to the grid in extreme events.
Energy Monitoring: Homeowners can track the status of their PWRcell using PWRview, Generac’s home energy app that displays daily dashboards and reports on energy availability. PWRview can also help them monitor their contributions to the grid through DSGS. Plus, PWRcell’s remote communication feature means batteries enrolled in DSGS can be remotely managed and activated during a grid saving event.
Incentive Opportunities: California residents with a Generac PWRcell Solar + Battery Storage system can receive additional benefits from Generac when they enroll and participate in DSGS. In the first year of DSGS, eligible participants who enroll can earn $350 in 2023, in addition to any bill savings they currently earn. When grid demand spikes, Generac will remotely discharge the PWRcell and help participants earn incentives, making participation easy and rewarding. DSGS and similar programs that enable battery owners to participate in grid programs are becoming the norm rather than the exception, and Generac expects future incentive options in 2024 and beyond through DSGS and/other grid support programs.
Combined, these key features of PWRcell empower installers to help homeowners harness the full potential of their solar system with battery storage, supporting a more stable grid while earning more for their energy contributions. As California illustrates how demand side programs can help compensate for an inconsistent grid, installers can equip homeowners to achieve greater energy independence by pairing solar power with battery storage for a more resilient home.
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