Why it just got easier for businesses to divorce their utilities

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SolarCity has unveiled an energy storage system for businesses. The system includes software that determines when to charge and when to discharge so as to minimize the utility bill. They use batteries from sister company Tesla motors.

 

Although SolarCity has previously teamed batteries with rooftop solar, the new DemandLogic systems are meant for peak shaving. They will make the most sense in California, Massachusetts, Connecticut and other parts of the country where utilities apply "demand charges" during peak periods. SolarCity’s storage system minimizes the amount of electricity that organizations need from the grid during peak periods, reducing exposure to demand charges.

 

Unlike demand response programs, DemandLogic requires no change in operations or cutbacks in power use. The system is fully automated and, on its own, analyzes an organization's energy use to design a charging and discharging cycle.

 

The systems are available with no upfront cost through 10-year service agreements. SolarCity promises businesses will save more on energy than they pay each month for the storage service.

 

SolarCity Introduces Energy Storage for Businesses

 

SolarCity DemandLogic™ integrates intelligent management software and Tesla battery technology to reduce businesses’ peak demand, provide backup power during outages and potentially save thousands on energy costs

 

SAN MATEO, Calif., Dec. 4, 2013—SolarCity has unveiled a smart energy storage system to address two major pain points for business: rising utility demand charges and increasing grid outages. SolarCity DemandLogic™ can allow businesses to reduce energy costs by using stored electricity to reduce peak demand, and can also provide backup power during grid outages. Developed with advanced battery technology from Tesla, SolarCity DemandLogic storage includes learning software that automates the discharge of stored energy to optimize utility charge 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.”

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