Energy storage is definitely an important factor to consider when installing a solar system. Energy storage can help maintain your energy resources — even during massive storms and blackouts. Not only that, energy storage can give peace of mind when you feel that your solar system may not be generating enough energy. If you have a high electricity bill, the long-term cost for energy storage might just be worth it.
How much does a solar battery cost?
Before deciding to install energy storage alongside your solar panels, you need to determine if the price is worth it for you. Solar battery costs range from $5,000 to $7,000+ and from $400 to $740 dollars per kilowatt hour (kWh). Keep in mind that these prices are just for the solar battery alone and don’t include other installation costs. The efficiency of a solar battery is heavily determined by the material that the battery is made of and, of course, the material used ultimately plays into the cost. In addition, installing a battery which allows you to go off the grid generally costs more than a system which remains on the grid.
Although the cost seems high at the moment, experts believe that solar batteries will decrease in price in the coming years, due to higher supply and competitive pricing between different brands. Of course, the price of the solar battery isn’t the only potential cost involved. You will still need to consider other costs — such as installation and an inverter to help manage the flow of electricity. However, if you already have an inverter set up with your solar system, this will work for both your energy storage system and your solar panels.
Is a solar battery worth it?
You should figure out if solar battery is worth it before installation. Look into your utility charges for electricity and determine if you need solar-plus-storage. If you are producing excess energy and pay the same kWh rate regardless of how much electricity you use, or when you use it, a solar battery would only benefit you for power outages/blackouts. If this is the case for you, carefully consider whether or not battery storage is worth it solely for power outages. However, it seems likely that utility prices will continue to rise in the near future, and installing a solar battery system can protect you from these volatile utility rates.
If your utility has time-of-use rates where you pay more for electricity during peak hours, then it’s possible that you could pay even more than double the standard rate during these peak hours. Energy storage can reduce the amount of electricity that you use during peak hours by switching from the on-grid solar system to the backup battery system. If you install a battery as a part of your solar system, you can just use the electricity saved from generation during off-peak hours. You can also store the extra solar energy that is produced during the day in the solar battery instead of feeding the excess back to the grid.
If your utility company has demand charges based on your total electricity use you might want to consider switching to a solar battery. Demand charges like time-of-use rates are calculated by the use of energy during peak hours. Installing a solar panel system can help minimize the electricity used from the grid, ensuring that these charges would stay low.
If your net metering system is reduced or if your state does not have net metering at all, you may want to consider a solar battery. Your solar electricity is valuable and the wholesale rate for your electricity is worth more money than you think. If your solar energy gets sent back to the grid, just receiving a wholesale price is not worth it. A solar battery can make it possible for you to store excess solar energy instead of sending it back to the electrical grid for a reduced credit. You can also reduce the amount of electricity you need if you have a solar storage system. By reducing the electricity used from the grid, you would pay less for electricity and end up with a lower utility bill each month.
Paying for a solar-plus-storage system has many financing options that are just as effective as the standard solar energy financing options. If you live in New York, recent announcements have outlined generous incentives for those who want to install energy storage systems.
By Kasey Liu