Posts: 488
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:45 pm
Delivery Date: 11 Aug 2013

California Solar Battery Systems?

Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:31 pm

I presently have a 8.9kw solar system that was installed a few years ago. At the time, we inquired about battery storage and was told it was not allowed.

Now I'm getting mailings from companies offering solar batteries to store some of our excess power produced during the day to use at night or as a whole house UPS system. One says it is now an option. Another says the state will pay 60% of the cost.

What changed?

Anybody with experience with any of these systems? My installer has since exited the market, so I'm open to working with a new company.

Big question/hope: Will the battery be able to replace the grid during an outage so my panels will continue to produce? I'm guessing not. But that would be ideal so that the battery doesn't get tapped until the sun goes down and the panels aren't able to provide enough.

Another question: One of the ads talks about the battery getting tapped when the grid gets under too much pressure. Does that mean that before there is an outage, the utility could drain my battery which would leave me without it as a backup if they do then have an outage? I'm guessing that is part of the sales pitch that was required to be able to get a rebate program.

For one mailing, it appears it is an option when that installer installs solar panels but didn't mention anything about rebates, just federal tax credits which were applicable if the battery was part of a new install. For another, I can't seem to get any price information without them doing the rebate application on my behalf and then there is a penalty if I go with someone else.

If the solar batteries make sense, I want to go with a good company, not one that is doing gimmicks.

Any objective info would be appreciated.


Posts: 7041
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:13 pm
Delivery Date: 26 Feb 2014
Location: Orange County, CA

Re: California Solar Battery Systems?

Sun Oct 02, 2016 1:36 pm

What utility company? Have you contacted them directly?

I don't think they can stop you from having a backup battery. It is gaming the system for TOU profit that is frowned on.
1 bar lost at 21,451 miles, 16 months.
2 bar lost at 35,339 miles, 25 months.
LEAF traded at 45,400 miles for a RAV4-EV

Posts: 488
Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2013 8:45 pm
Delivery Date: 11 Aug 2013

Re: California Solar Battery Systems?

Sun Oct 02, 2016 2:03 pm

I'm on SCE with net metering, not TOU. At present, I get a refund check each year since we are averaging 8k miles on the Leaf and I sized the system to support the house plus 11k miles per year. Logically, I wouldn't think a battery would impact cost/revenue to the utility on a net metered customer. Though I can see how it would mean less surplus provided to them during the day and less draw at night and they probably won't like that. But the materials I've received didn't seem to indicate which utility I was on would be relevant to getting the battery.

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