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SolarCity, one of the American solar panel providers that has emerged in recent years to take advantage of government renewable energy programs and drive the US solar industry, has now announced that it is branching out into the energy storage sector.
On Wednesday, the company issued a press release to announce that it was teaming up with Tesla Motors to provide a new smart energy storage system that will help businesses cut their energy bills.
The two companies share close a relationship as Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, is the Chairman at SolarCity, and the cousin of Lyndon Rive, the CEO of SolarCity.
The DemandLogic system uses a combination of solar panels, big lithium ion batteries, and advanced software. It helps businesses to reduce their energy costs by generating electricity from solar panels and storing it in the lithium ion batteries to be used during expensive peak times, to reduce demand. The smart software helps the system to learn when the stored power should be released in order to maximise the reduction in utility demand charges.
Peter Rive, the chief technology officer and chief operations officer at SolarCity, explained that “utilities have altered their rate structures such that demand charges are rising faster than overall energy rates, and businesses are bearing the bulk of those increases. Time is money, but so are control and predictability. Our storage systems can give businesses the tools to address all three—delivering immediate savings, protection against escalating demand charges and optional, grid-independent backup power in case of outages.”
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The DemandLogic would be offered out on a 10 year service contract in which the customer pays a monthly payment, with nothing upfront. This will help the business to begin saving money on energy bills as soon as the system is installed, rather than having to first pay off a huge up front installation cost.
Solar City isn’t the only company trying to combine solar power with smart energy storage, but Jonathan Bass, the director of communications at SolarCity said that by combining his company’s experience with Tesla’s unrivalled battery technology they have been able to create a product that few will be able to match.
“I’m sure other people will try to compete in this business, but we feel pretty good about our position.”
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com