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Clean Power

Published on June 27th, 2014 | by Roy L Hales

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Energy Storage Solutions Offered By KB Home and SunPower

June 27th, 2014 by  


Originally Published on the ECOreport

Solar and storage can work together today to reduce the monthly cost of energy, maximize value and energy security, and provide a hedge against rising utility costs. -PRNewsFoto/SunPower Corp
Battery storage is on the cusp of going mainstream. Thousands of German homes are now obtaining 60-70% of their electricity from solar, and the yield is even higher in the US, where there is more sunshine. (More on that coming soon.) Now KB Home and SunPower are offering energy storage solutions in Southern California.

“The announcement we made today is for a pilot program to hone SunPower’s storage offering and ultimately provide customers with an optimal storage solution,” Sunpower Spokesperson Ingrid Ekstrom explained. ”SunPower is testing technologies from several companies and installing the technology in just a handful of homes in California this year.”

“It’s also important to understand that energy storage today in the US gives homeowners the security and peace-of-mind of knowing they’ll have backup power in the event of a power outage. In future, homeowners with battery storage will be able to serve household load with stored power at any time, not just during outages.”

SunPower is not ready to release information on technology configurations or economics.

However KB Home, “estimates that at current residential electric rates, a 1.4-kilowatt high-efficiency photovoltaic system provided by SunPower and installed as a standard part of a 3,654-square-foot, ENERGY STAR® certified home at Vicenza would yield average energy savings of $216 per month, or approximately $25,900 over ten years, compared to a typical resale home without these features.”

In their joint press release, they mentioned offering this project in more than 150 KB Home communities. All of the KB homes in Vicenza at Orchard Hills, in Irvine, will possess SunPower solar power systems, and SunPower and KB Home are offering this program to select KB Home communities in Irvine, El Dorado Hills, and San Diego, Calif.

SunPower is also piloting energy storage solutions in Australia and Germany.

“Battery storage and energy management services are highly complementary to residential solar systems,” said Sunpower’s CEO Tom Werner “Together, they help further reduce the monthly cost of energy, maximize value and energy security, and provide a hedge against rising utility costs.”

“Offering our new homebuyers highly advanced energy-efficient features is a key differentiator for KB Home, and we are proud to partner with SunPower to pilot the energy storage solutions,” said Dan Bridleman, senior vice president of Sustainability, Technology and Strategic Sourcing for KB Home. “Showcasing this cutting-edge technology speaks to the strength of KB Home’s partnership with SunPower and once again demonstrates KB Home’s forward-thinking approach to new home innovation.”


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About the Author

is the President of Cortes Community Radio , CKTZ 89.5 FM, where he has hosted a half hour program since 2014, and editor of the the ECOreport, a website dedicated to exploring how our lifestyle choices and technologies affect the West Coast of North America. He writes for both writes for both Clean Technica and PlanetSave on Important Media. He is a research junkie who has written over 1,600 since he was first published in 1982. Roy lives on Cortes Island, BC, Canada.



  • ronwint

    A non toxic, safer alternative to potentially volatile lithium Ion battery systems for solar energy storage is new Safeion Energy Storage Systems. Safeion’s new grid storage batteries offer non-flammable, non-explosive, non-corrosive electrolyte that so safe that you could literally drink it. Offering over 3,000 charge discharge cycles, an 85% round trip DC efficiency and a much better value that lithium ion and lead acid storage technology and they’re now available. Why wait for the solar leasing companies and their expensive offerings? Safeion is ready for industrial as well as residential applications today.

    • Bob_Wallace

      Are you spamming this site?

      And if you’re spamming then why for a company that apparently has no web presence?

  • Wayne Williamson

    KB Homes builds subdivisions all around me in central Florida, and I think it would be a very good idea if they start including solar as part of them.

  • JimBouton

    A 1.4 kw system would yield $216 per month in savings? What is that, six panels? I have an 8.33 kw system that produced an average of 900 kwh per month (October through May). That works out to 150 kwh for a 1.4 kw system. Wouldn’t the cost of electricity need to be $1.44 per kwh to arrive at $216 per month savings?

    Plus, why would you need a battery for that type of setup? I can see the logic on a system as large as mine, since I regularly send back about 600 kwh back to the grid per month. I would think that there would be very little excess with 150 kwh (5 kwh per day) production.

    Maybe I am missing something here.

    • Marcus Joo

      Jim you aren’t wrong. From a financial perspective a 1.4 kW system in California may produce 150-180kWh per month on average (depending on where. Even of it is avoiding the highest tiers of electrical rates of around 0.36$/kWh, one may see 67$/month average savings..

      1.4 kW system is a boutique add on with very minimal effect on anyone’s home. In certain parts of California (near the coasts) it could be helpful.

      It seems more of a test to figure out the ramifications with the utilities of the battery solutions or in essence a test on the market potential.

    • S.Nkm

      I agree with you (and your math), the $216 savings figure is completely wrong and misleading. Please pardon my curiosity but why did you install such a large PV system when you needed only 1/3rd of it?

      • JimBouton

        The energy companies (Reliant and Green Mountain) offered 12 months plans in which they would charge you 16 cents a kwh for energy produced during the daytime (9 to 4). More importantly, they were willing to pay you 16 cents (up to the first 500 kwh per month) for any extra energy you sent back to the grid – regardless of WHEN it is produced.

        After 4 pm, then the price drops to 9 cents a kwh they will charge you. After you send back 500 kwh, then any additional energy you send to them will be paid at 5 cents a kwh.

        I decided that I wanted to make sure that I had a system (34 panels) that produced enough for my usage and an extra 500 kwh. (That works out to be a credit of $80 per month.) I have hit that number (500 kwh) every month so far since I started on September 2013. (In May, I blew it out with 850 kwh sent back to the grid.)

        Back in April when I signed the PPA with SolarCity, there
        were two rebates being offered (one by the state and one by Oncor, the owner of the grid components in Dallas) along with the FTC. The math made it very easy to see that adding an extra 14 panels resulted in very little extra cash – about $1500. (My whole cost for a 20 year PPA was $9,800 on an 8.33 kw system.)

        I have yet to pay for an electricity bill since I started and have calculated that I have saved (or made) $1,000 in the first eight months. I am still amazed that more people did not take up this offer back in 2013.

        A neighbor of mine decided earlier this year to sign up with SolarCity and he placed 42 panels on his house. A 10.3 kw system. His house is less than 2400 square feet. I believe he will pay $85 per month for 20 years. He only received one of the two rebates that I was offered last year.

  • Kyle Field

    Great solution. Truly commercialized offerings are lacking in this space and it’s good to see companies working together to bring this tech to market. I’m curious as to how the storage works with other inverters/solar systems. I personally already have a solar system but want to add storage…or an EV with enough brains to do roughly the same thing. the future is bright!

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