SolarCity, one of the country’s largest solar providers, has used Tesla electric vehicle battery technology to develop the DemandLogic energy storage system for businesses.
The system was designed to address two increasingly burdensome issues for businesses – rising utility costs and increasing grid outages.
According to SolarCity, some utilities now base rates on “peak demand” – the electricity used at a specific time – rather than total amount of electricity used. As a result, though solar can help reduce the amount of energy a business draws from the grid, “if an organization’s “peak” electricity demand is still high during the day—in the late afternoon, for example—the organization can be hit with high demand charges.”
DemandLogic uses battery storage technology from Tesla and software that regulates the use of stored energy during “peak” periods to optimize savings for customers.
“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,” said Peter Rive, SolarCity’s chief technology officer and chief operations officer.
“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.”
A solar installation on a San Mateo home. Photo Credit: SolarCity
The solar firm notes that this system is superior to other energy cost-saving measures, like load shifting, because it doesn’t require any change in business operations.
“We are thrilled to leverage Tesla’s technology leadership in energy storage systems, charging and power electronics to enable this exciting SolarCity launch,” said Tesla CTO and co-founder JB Straubel.
“The economics and scale that Tesla has achieved in the automotive market now make stationary energy storage more cost effective and reliable than it has ever been in the past. We expect this market to grow very rapidly now that we have crossed this economic threshold.”
And during power outages, DemandLogic can power critical business processes like security systems, cash registers and IT systems.
The systems will first be available in parts of California, Massachusetts and Connecticut.