It used to be that a typical grid-tied solar electric system only worked when the grid worked. If a storm took out the power lines the homeowners ended up in the dark, despite those shiny panels on the roof.
That's changing thanks to more efficient and cost-effective battery technology, as well as to utility involvement. Greentech Media Research (GTM) estimates that for the first time, total installed home battery capacity of 15.9 megawatts has reached near parity with utility-scale deployments of 16 megawatts.
It's on track to get even bigger. "The residential [storage] market this year is going to be over five times the size of the market last year," said GTM Senior Analyst Brett Simon. And while California and Hawaii account for 74 percent of that capacity, installations are also growing elsewhere, with products from companies that include LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Sonnen, and Tesla.
Electric utilities are helping to drive this growth. For instance,... read more