Batteries and Solar Energy

How do batteries work with solar energy?

If you rely on electricity to power life-sustaining medical devices or live in a home with an electric water pump, a power outage can have serious consequences. On-site solar energy provides part of the solution, but in order to keep the power on during an outage, you’ll also need batteries.

As prices fall, more and more prospective and current solar owners are considering installing batteries with their solar systems. Some of our solar co-ops offer an option to add battery storage (as well as electric vehicle charging). Some solar owners opt to install batteries to provide power during grid outages, for life-sustaining medical devices, or for other reasons.

What should you think about when considering solar + storage?

Battery storage systems can take up room in your home, can require maintenance, and will likely need to be replaced during the life of your solar system. Many battery storage systems also require additional equipment, wiring, and configuration when being integrated into a solar system. Pairing solar and storage will keep your batteries charged and ready for use when the power goes out. If you might want batteries in the future, be sure to tell your solar installer during their evaluation of your property.

Batteries will increase the cost of your solar system. Their value is in reliability and peace of mind, not in saving money.

How much of your home can you power with batteries?

Battery storage systems are modular, so you can power as much of your home as you can afford. However, due to their high upfront cost and lack of economic incentives, most battery storage systems are designed to power only critical functions during a grid outage.

Installers size each battery system to meet the needs and preferences of individual customers. This process involves determining which appliances are most important for you to keep running during an outage, how much electricity you want to store, and for how long you would like to store it. Your installer will help you select the appropriate size and type of battery storage system to meet your needs.

How much do batteries cost?

The cost of batteries depends on how much backup power you need, and for how long. Those factors determine what hardware you’ll need, and what the installation and maintenance costs will be.

At 2019 prices, you can expect the addition of batteries to your home to cost between $6,000 and $20,000.

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