Yesterday, a Sunrun press release broke news that the company has made its Brightbox solar + storage product available to homeowners in California. Sunrun’s Brightbox product was first launched in March with the first installation just a few months later in Hawaii — the land of copious amounts of sunshine, coconuts, and tourists. The high energy prices found on the island state make the ability to generate power, store it, and use it on site especially attractive.
The press release shared that the system is available via a monthly or prepaid lease. We have an inquiry out to the SunRun team about a purchase option as well as the ability to add storage to an existing Sunrun solar-only system (like mine). We will update the details when we hear back.
The Brightbox solution comes with some heavy-hitting promises, as it serves both as a backup battery in the event of a power outage for critical circuits in the home as well as a peak shaving appliance. From the press release:
“BrightBox also saves homeowners money by seamlessly optimizing when a home uses electricity generated directly from the home’s solar system, stored in the battery, or sourced from the grid, resulting in maximum control over electricity bills.”
The storage offering in California comes as Tesla continues to ramp up Powerwall production capacity at the Gigafactory (while also integrating the recent acquisition of SolarCity), and also amidst imminent changes to the California rate structures as it moves towards Time-of-Use (TOU) rates.
Lynn Jurich, Chief Executive Officer of Sunrun, talked about how Sunrun isn’t just looking at the residential side of the equation but is also leaning into a deeper partnership with utilities with this new offering:
“Importantly, with innovations such as BrightBox, we hope to forge new relationships with utilities as we work with them to maximize the value of solar energy in modernizing America’s energy infrastructure.”
Residential storage — especially intelligent, connected storage — has the power to act as a single grid-scale battery which could be leveraged in the event of grid failures or usage spikes to keep critical systems online. While we have not seen any battery suppliers, solar installers, or residential customers leveraging pooled residential storage in this way, intelligent solutions like BrightBox hint at a bright future for this type of application.
Check out the promo video that talks a bit about how the product works from a customer experience in Oahu, Hawaii:
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