After enduring the record-breaking wildfire season of 2020, California residents are seeking innovative ways to navigate the “new normal” of large-scale disruptions from the utility grid. Both the economic strain and uncertainty of the energy landscape have Californians tightening their budgets and seeking stability in their home energy needs.
Many Golden State residents seeking to reduce costs and adapt to cleaner energy have already turned to solar power installations. However, a solar array system alone is limited in its ability, and it will not keep your lights on in a power outage. One way that homeowners are staying ahead of the game is by adapting to the energy safety net of a solar plus battery-powered system. Adding an energy storage element is a great opportunity for those who already have solar to capitalize on their systems and to unlock its full value.
Ultimately, as more consumers shift their focus from cost savings to resiliency, a more comprehensive solution can be found in the form of a residential microgrid or nanogrid. Adding a battery with smart controls to existing or new solar energy enables homeowners to prepare for unplanned or extended power outages. Smart controls like CleanSpark’s mPulse provide end-to-end management for the microgrid while avoiding high costs and demand charges from utility companies, ensuring the lowest cost of energy during standard operations. The scalable, plug-and-play nature of mPulse’s modular design makes usability simple for anyone wanting to take control of the energy in their space.
Residential energy solutions will also ease stress on the aging utility grid as the workforce continues to shift to more home-based employees. According to President of Global Workplace Analytics Kate Lister, the number of individuals who work from home could grow to 25 to 30 percent in the next two years.
In a recent article, she expanded on that projection. “Our prediction is that the longer people are required to work from home, the greater the adoption we will see when the dust settles. We believe based on historical trends that those who were working remotely before the pandemic will increase their frequency after they are allowed to return to their offices,” Lister said.
With a residential microgrid, those work-from-home Zoom meetings won’t be disrupted by a rolling blackout, wildfire or a power grid system failure. The unfortunate reality is that instances like those are only expected to worsen each year as the climate changes, so energy independence is of the utmost importance. A Pacific Gas and Electric executive recently projected that the state’s electric system may not return to normal until the end of the decade. However, life and work productivity can carry on without interruption due to the reliability and resiliency of CleanSpark’s smart-controlled microgrid.
Removing the dependence on traditional power grids for residents allows a sense of security not previously available. This end-to-end management provided by smart-controlled microgrids can not only save money and energy but also provide peace of mind. The use of renewable energy sources like solar and energy storage is also a big win for the environment.
Smart controls for solar and storage in a residential microgrid application can be a valuable addition to a renewable energy developer’s toolkit and provide significant value to consumers, utilities and everyone in between.