The solar + storage value proposition is increasingly a no-brainer for commercial buildings in states out West. Demand charges in California have increased by as much as 64% since 2014, and these charges can represent more than 50% of a company’s monthly energy bill. What’s more, California experienced more outages in 2017 than any other state (430+), with outages lasting an average of 117 minutes.
As these charges have increased, however, so too have grid outages, in both frequency and duration; these downtimes cost U.S. businesses billions each year. Much of the increase is due to the higher frequency of damaging severe weather events driven by climate change, making backup power vital for business customers.
“Our SmartStorage systems address both rising energy costs and increasingly frequent grid disruptions,” said Carl Mansfield, NantEnergy VP of System Solutions. “With our systems, companies can manage demand charges, shift solar energy to more valuable times of day, and gain reliable backup power fueled by renewable sources.”
As evidence, Mansfield points to the dozen businesses in California and New Mexico that are poised to save a combined $3.6 million on their energy bills over the next 10 years after installing NantEnergy SmartStorage systems in the first six months of the year. These businesses will use the systems to replace utility-provided power with emissions-free renewable energy at times of peak demand. The systems also will provide them with a reliable source of backup power in an era of increasing — and increasingly lengthy — power outages.
Paired with solar panels, NantEnergy’s storage systems and advanced battery technology give commercial and industrial (C&I) customers a reliable, independent source of clean energy—whether at peak demand times when utility prices are highest or as backup power during grid outages. In many cases, the reduction in peak demand usage is sufficient to allow customers to qualify for a lower rate structure from the utility, saving even more.
Highlights from customers who have recently deployed NantEnergy SmartStorage systems:
• Vitality Works, a large developer of herbal supplements based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, estimates it will lower its utility bill by 27% and save over $50,000 during its first year using a 120 kW/162 kWh SmartStorage system and a 264 kW solar PV (photovoltaic) system. The new solar-plus-storage system is part of the company’s overall commitment to operate in an environmentally sustainable way.
• Hokto Kinoko, one of the largest specialty mushroom growers in the world, worked with Irvine, California-based Revel Energy to install a 1.04 MW rooftop solar PV system coupled with a 300 kW/405 kWh NantEnergy SmartStorage system at its San Marcos, California processing facility. The Tokyo-based company estimates it will save over $200,000 annually on energy bills.
• The City of Del Mar, California, installed a 30kW / 121.5kWh system with the primary purpose of offering resiliency support in the event of grid outages. Installed at the newly-constructed City Hall and coupled with a PV system from Baker Electric, the energy storage system will not only provide backup power but also substantial reductions in electric utility demand charges.
— Solar Builder magazine