LAST UPDATED: 17 AUGUST 2021
Building resilience with solar
If you’re already connected to the electricity grid, or can be connected at little cost, then it is rarely economically advantageous to add a battery storage system to your PV system. The high cost of batteries means that adding them usually costs as much, if not more, than the PV system itself. Add on to that the added complexity that battery storage systems bring, and you may be wondering why anyone connected to the grid would choose to opt for a battery storage solution. The answer? Resilience.
Recent major weather events, and their corresponding power outages, have brought the idea of energy resilience to the forefront once again. The limitations of relying on backup fossil fuel generators and the increasing number of extended power outages, mean that it may be time for you to consider the value that battery provided resilience can add to your solar PV system.
Climate change is increasing the number of extreme weather events, and with extreme weather comes extended power outages. Whether it’s snow storms in Texas or extreme heat in Western Canada, this year has already seen its fair share of disruption to the energy grid. With extreme weather events forecasted to increase in frequency, severity, and duration, power outages will also increase in frequency, severity and duration, making energy resilience increasingly important.
Limitations of fossil fuel generators
Until recently, the standard way to add energy resilience to your home was by buying a small fossil fuel powered generator that you could fire up in the case of a power outage. Never-minding the health and environmental issues these generators create, they also require a ready supply of fuel, usually gasoline, diesel, natural gas or propane. The short shelf life of these fuels means that storing large quantities can quickly become an expensive endeavour, so, in the event of an extended power outage, one ends up in the unenviable position of hoping that the tanker trucks will still run on time; unlikely during extreme weather or a natural disaster. Solar, on the other hand, is stored and used without any dependence on fuel deliveries, and during an extended power outage will continue providing power.
Adding resilience with solar
A grid-tied PV system on its own is not enough to add energy resilience to your home. Grid-tied systems cannot generate electricity without a connection to the electrical grid and, for safety reasons, are designed to shut off in the event of a power outage. In order for a PV system to generate electricity without the grid, it needs to have a battery storage system and it needs to be able to be isolated from the grid. These additions are expensive compared to the cost of an ordinary grid-tied PV system, but can be worth it, depending on how much you value energy resilience. By combining PV with battery storage, you can build a resilient energy system that can respond to whatever threats and disruptions the future holds. Let us know if you’re interested in building an energy resilient PV system. We provide free quotes and consultations for all your solar needs.
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