The New, Affordable Solar Solution
If you’ve ever considered adding solar to your home or office, now might be the time. According to a study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, solar is about to become the cheapest form of new energy available—cheaper than wind and, in some places, cheaper than coal or natural gas. You could potentially install a solar system on your home at half the cost of several years ago or take advantage of one of the new financing options. But if you want to take advantage of solar power, you need one more thing: a battery.
Solar Goes Low
Over the past couple of decades, solar has decreased in price slowly, and those changes were due to improvements in the technology and manufacturing process. But then installation got faster, and therefore cheaper, too. And most recently, the change that has made solar cheaper than most people ever thought possible, is financing. Today, people are no longer having to buy their solar panels at all in some cases. They simply lease them from their solar provider.
SolarCity is America’s largest solar energy service provider, and the company offers both buying and leasing programs for people interested in solar. People who have the cash to pay upfront can purchase, increase the value of their home and benefit from solar energy tax credits (if available in their area). But leasing allows people who don’t have the upfront investment capital (or who don’t prefer to spend it) to start taking advantage of lower energy costs via solar anyway.
And one more thing: Tesla just bought SolarCity.
Tesla is known for innovation, but it’s mission is “to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” Buying SolarCity is a step in that direction, but the company’s other contribution is the one you’ll want to know about if you’re considering solar. That’s the Tesla Powerwall.
In terms of providing reliable power, solar faces two very big challenges: weather and night. Solar only generates energy when the sun is shining, so the setting of the sun, or the blocking of it by clouds spells trouble for a home powered by solar. The Tesla Powerwall changed all that by allowing you to store power generated by solar for use during night or cloudy weather. If you use solar to fill your Tesla Powerwall and don’t need the energy, you can, in many places, sell that energy back to the power grid. It even allows you to draw power from the power grid during lower-use/lower-cost times and store it for use when prices and demand are higher.
Tesla introduced its Powerwall in 2015, and in late 2016, it released the Powerwall 2, with double the energy capacity of its first model. The Powerwall 2 can power a two-bedroom home for a whole day. Have a bigger home? Up to nine Powerwalls can be installed together. The Powerwall 2 also includes a built-in inverter, which is an improvement over the first model, which required additional inverter equipment to convert the direct current power generated by solar into alternating current power required by a home.
If you own a business and are interested in adding solar to cut costs, Tesla has something new for you, too. The Powerpack is a fully integrated, AC-connected energy storage system that can be scaled to any size and energy requirements.
To learn more about how you can take advantage of the new lows in solar costs, call us at Jackson Hole AV. We’d love to discuss the possibilities.