SolarCity has unveiled an energy storage system to help businesses reduce utility costs by controlling peak usage.
SolarCity DemandLogic allows businesses to use stored electricity to reduce peak demand and can also provide backup power during grid outages.
Developed with advanced battery technology from Tesla, SolarCity DemandLogic storage includes learning software that automates the discharge of stored energy to optimize utility usage. Unlike load shifting approaches to demand management, this product requires no change in operations for the business and is fully automated. DemandLogic can also power IT functions, security systems, cash registers and other business systems during power outages.
SolarCity analyzes each organization’s energy usage to design a storage system that can offset peak load and support backup functions. The storage systems are available to new solar power customers through 10-year service agreements including monthly payments, with no upfront cost. SolarCity will customize the system size so businesses can save money immediately by saving more on energy costs than they spend for the storage service.
Tesla says the economics and scale it has achieved in the automotive market now make its technology cost effective for stationary energy storage.
SolarCity storage systems will initially be available in areas of California serviced by Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison, areas of Massachusetts serviced by NSTAR, and areas of Connecticut served by Connecticut Light & Power.
Tesla and SolarCity say their product comes at a time when some utilities are basing rates less on the overall amount of electricity consumed, and more on peak demand. While solar power can significantly offset the overall amount of electricity used by businesses, an organization’s peak electricity demand is still high during certain times, and the organization can be hit with high demand charges and rates for the following year based on peak demand.
Other companies are addressing this peak demand problem for businesses, as well. Joule Assets’ Peak Power Index forecasts when major metro areas are likely to experience the peak power hour of the year in their region. And StatWeather helps companies predict the weather to identify peak demand days.