Analysis Sees Little Benefit in Off-Grid Economics

Posted on April 18,2015 by ScottG in grid-tied

Despite falling prices for photovoltaic (PV) panels and cheaper and the prospect of more efficient battery storage on the horizon, it usually makes more sense to stay connected to the grid than to cut ties completely, a new report published in the journal Energy Policy says. The authors, Rajab Khalilpour and Anthony Vassallo of the University of Sydney in Australia, write that in most cases a better choice than leaving the grid entirely is to minimize the amount of purchased electricity by installing "an optimized size" PV / battery system.

Are Solar-Plus-Battery Systems Coming to a Neighborhood Near You?

Posted on April 18,2015 by ScottG in battery

Solar-plus-battery systems that combine photovoltaic panels and lithium-ion batteries are helping a number of commercial electricity customers cut their power bills, but any widespread spillover to the residential side of the market looks to be some time away. Two solar installers, SolarCity, and SunPower, are offering the systems to residential customers, yet the numbers in the pilot programs are very modest.

Maine Utility Seeks Surcharge for Renewables

Posted on April 18,2015 by ScottG in Central Maine Power

Maine's largest electric utility is seeking permission from state regulators to impose a new “standby” rate that would add roughly $13 to the monthly bill of a residential customer with a grid-tied renewable energy system. The plan would tack on $24.83 a month to the Central Maine Power power bill for a net-metered residential customer vs. the flat $12 charge for a customer without renewables, CMP said. The proposal is part of a rate case before the Maine Public Utilities Commission.

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