Solar-Plus-Storage for All: Battery Projects on a Large and Small Scale

by Anna Gretz
January 13, 2020

Solar-plus-storage is big. 

But it's important on a smaller scale, too. Basically, we need renewable energy generation, and batteries to store that energy, wherever we can get them. That means big-time corporations need to get on board, as well as individual homeowners. A reliable, distributed energy future depends on everyone. 

Google Gets It: Huge-Scale Energy Storage

We just heard about the biggest ever solar power purchase agreement... and unsurprisingly, Google is behind it. Google tapped Nevada utility company, NV Energy, to power the new data center going up outside Las Vegas. NV Energy gets to hook them up with 250 megawatts of solar... but that's not the most exciting part. Google's also going with 250 megawatts of battery capacity to store it. 

The 250 megawatts of solar tie this project for the biggest ever, but the storage component tips it over the edge. And when companies like Google go big on storage, it's a sign that good things are on the horizon. The project reflects energy storage's growing popularity. When other corporations draw up plans for their own energy deals, they'll be sure to follow Google's lead, and add battery components of their own. 

When solar and storage are installed together, the free, clean energy from the sun can power the site around the clock, instead of being restricted to the daytime hours. 

Dan Finn-Foley, the top storage research guru at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, is just as excited as we are about this announcement. 

"You can draw a straight line between Google's aspiration for 100 percent load-following renewable energy and energy storage's inclusion in this agreement,"

-  Dan Finn-Foley, Wood Mackenzie Power & . Renewables

In an interview with Greentech Media, Finn-Foley articulated why Google's project is so unique. Corporations are coming out with new renewable energy projects all the time, but Google's massive storage component lets them "match their real-time consumption to 100 percent renewables." In other words, they don't have to adopt the borrow-and-pay-back method when it comes to clean energy... they can just use their own stored solar power. 

When it comes to corporate energy projects, this is a new idea. According to Finn-Foley, it could represent a "sea change in how corporations approach renewable energy." The days of buying and offsetting are over. Corporations are ready to take their renewable energy usage to the next level, and do what we've been trying to get them to do for a while new... store that energy on-site. 

This isn't only good for the energy storage industry on a whole, but it's just straight-up good. Google employees are happy about it, too. In the wake of the recent scandal (where Google was accused of supporting climate denial), going all-in on renewables is a great look. 

Solar-plus-storage on a (very, very) big scale is something we like to see... but we also want to celebrate every single residential battery installation, too. 


Your Home + Storage = Energy Fortress

Google's doing it, and homeowners can, too. 

Solar is here and now, and now that so many homes are hooked up with solar panels, it just makes sense to upgrade that energy system with a home battery. Home batteries make sense for renewable-energy-forcused corporations and homes alike, but they're also a matter of energy security. In an era of unreliable, antiquated energy grids, protecting your power is a huge priority for homeowners. 

That's what a home battery does. It protects your power from unpredictable power outages due to wildfires, weather... or even squirrels.

Even though it’s pretty easy to make an argument for coupling solar panels with energy storage, the investment can seem pretty out of reach for some residential customers. Until now. Swell set out to put energy storage within reach for everyone by developing a new bundled product that offers solar + storage for just $1 a day. We call is EnergyShield, and we’re pretty proud of it.

EnergyShield is a way that every household can protect themselves from blackouts, the rising cost of electricity, and even make off-grid independence affordable for so many more Americans. Swell re-structured the traditional solar + storage system, sizing it to fit a majority of homes, while still taking advantage of the federal incentives available for energy storage customers. EnergyShield is a combination of sleek, black solar panels and state-of-the-art home batteries that comes in three tiers, depending on the level of energy security and freedom you are looking for.

If solar + storage makes sense for Google, it makes sense for everyone. That’s why it should be available to everyone. If you’re wondering whether or not a solar + storage system is within your reach, click here for a free EnergyShield quote from Swell.