- SolarCity is offering commercial customers a battery system to lower peak use and to provide backup electricity during power outages. By cutting use during peak hours, customers will avoid utility demand charges.
- SolarCity, a fast-growing solar installer, will lease the battery systems under 10-year contracts. The company expects to begin installing its DemandLogic storage systems in mid-2014.
- The batteries are based on the ones developed for Tesla Motors, run by Elon Musk, who is also board chairman for SolarCity.
SolarCity plans to market its battery systems in California and the Northeast. “We’re initially targeting markets where the utilities are collecting high demand charges,” SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive said. “We can reduce those by about 20%.”
Already, SolarCity has spread the appeal of rooftop solar by entering into leases and power purchase agreements with customers so property owners avoid the upfront costs of installing photovoltaic equipment. Now SolarCity is broadening the appeal of rooftop PV by combining it with energy storage.