Solar panels alone are a great fit for many businesses, but not all customers can benefit from them. Manufacturers running energy-intensive machinery at night, for example, require a more advanced solution to manage their power needs. Battery storage can provide that solution by extending the usefulness of solar energy.
Battery energy storage systems are more than just batteries. They are at the cutting of edge of the renewable energy industry. Battery storage can be used for emergency backup, off-grid homes, and more, but its most important application is peak shaving.
Peak shaving cuts expensive demand charges by reducing electricity consumption during peak usage times like summer afternoons. Not all electric users have demand charges, but for businesses with demand charge tariffs, they can be very expensive. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), demand charges can account for 30% to 70% of a customer’s utility bill.
While solar arrays alone can help alleviate demand charges, they aren’t as effective as battery energy storage. Battery energy storage systems can guarantee that no power above a predetermined threshold will be drawn from the grid during peak times. They can automatically detect when power usage exceeds a predetermined threshold and switch from the grid or solar panels to batteries until the additional demand is over. When demand goes back down, the batteries recharge.