It appears the energy storage trend is gradually expanding. Sunrun and Outback have partnered to try a pilot project offering energy storage for some Sunrun solar power customers. Sunrun says it has over 30,000 customers, so there will be plenty to choose from for the pilot program. Weather-resistant batteries and inverters will be tested with some home solar systems. If the pilot is successful, it may pave the way for an expansion of residential energy storage.
“OutBack’s energy storage-backed systems have earned longstanding confidence from our customers, such as the residential solar company, Sunrun. We know our dependable reputation and high quality products will translate into peace of mind and added value for their home solar customers,” explained Harvey Wilkinson, from OutBack Power.
Headquartered in Washington state, Outback Power is a privately held company that was founded in 2001 by three engineers. Initially the company focused on energy products for remote locations. Off-grid and grid-tied inverters with battery backup are still in its product line. Batteries and charge controllers are just two of the company’s other products.
Sunrun is a pioneer in solar leasing. Customers don’t own their solar power systems, Sunrun does, and the customers get lower energy bills in exchanging for hosting the solar panels. The company was founded in 2007.
Energy storage has been estimated to be about a $50 billion market by 2020. One can see why — energy storage for residential and commercial renewable energy will likely track with the growth of solar and wind power. The US currently only generates about 1% of its electricity from solar power, but that amount is set to expand it massively, and it seems energy storage will grow along with it, albeit at a slower rate.
How long it takes to get to 10% solar power is anyone’s guess. The rise of EVs seems to helping somewhat because of the constant press for the Tesla Model S and Nissan Leaf, and the way that EVs get people thinking about their energy use and energy independence. It only seems sensible that eventually home solar — when combined with an EV and an on-site energy storage system — will become very attractive to many Americans for a number of reasons.
Image Credit: Sunrun
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