Integrating Solar and Energy Storage

 

Lower cost, improved reliability, and wider availability of information and skilled installers have resulted in rapid growth of solar photovoltaic (PV) system deployment.  More PV generating capacity was installed in 2016 than any other energy source.  While most of this capacity has come online as large utility-scale projects, community solar and residential rooftop installations have increased, buoyed by the economics and demand. Similarly, energy storage prices are declining and use is increasing.  Widespread utilization is several years off but there are already many interesting applications.  Other storage technologies besides batteries offer low-cost options. Combined, distributed generation like solar PV and energy storage are a dynamic duo.  Off-grid, hybrid battery/grid interactive, and grid systems with supplemental storage offer many benefits for enhanced power quality, back-up during outages, and economic dispatch for demand response and load management.  More capable electronic controls can benefit both sides of the meter.  We will discuss the technology, some developments Ð both real and not ready, and talk how it fits into energy efficient home construction.  We'll talk about consumer perceptions, who's in the market place, and how utilities look at the changing energy supply landscape.