Peace of Mind - San Juan County relies on underwater transmission of electricity from the mainland and then overhead power lines to homes and businesses on the 20 islands with grid power. In the past year, there have been several planned and unplanned power outages. Backup power provides peace of mind to keep the lights on, as well as the fridge and freezer (and other "critical" loads).
Return on Investment – Unlike diesel or propane (LPG) generators, there is the potential to offset the cost of your battery since systems can allow you to capitalize on "time of use" energy pricing (expected to be offered by OPALCO in the future). "Time of use" means that utilities charge different rates at different times of the day; if a customer is willing to use electricity during lower demand hours, they can pay less than during the "peak" times of day. Both Sonnen and LG Chem allow you to program when the battery provides energy for your house and when the grid should. In addition, when your battery is coupled with your solar system, the IRS has clarified that those costs can be included in the federal tax credit.
Complements Renewable Energy - If you already have or are thinking about installing solar, having a battery can help you mitigate the fact that solar power is only available when the sun is shining. The battery allows you to store and later use the energy your solar array generated. And when your battery is charged, you can send the excess back to the grid. During a power outage, a solar array can charge a battery during the day, meaning you may need to only rely on the battery at night. With some planning, a solar + battery system could provide indefinite power during a grid outage. By choosing to install solar and battery on your property, you are also helping utilities meet increased demand with renewable energy production rather than natural gas or even coal power production.
Support a Local Business – Rainshadow Solar & Energy Solutions is a locally-owned and operated small business, based on Orcas Island. All 12 of our employees live on Orcas Island, including 9 licensed electricians and electrical trainees.