Utility company throws monkey wrench into solar backup systems

Edison (SCE) informed a couple living in Santa Barbara that their application for a grid connection of their solar system was denied because the batteries they used to store energy for emergency backup power were considered “power generators” and not energy storage devices. In theory this is true because if you own a grid-interactive system you could store excess energy generated during daytime and sell it at night. But in practice no one would do this because your batteries would be dead after one year.

The main reason people get backup systems is for emergency backup power only when the grid goes down.

House With Grid-Interactive Inverters, Charge Controller and Batteries

House With Grid-Interactive Inverters, Charge Controller and Batteries

If you are facing the same problems there are some things you can do:

  • Filing a complaint with the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC)
  • Join the group BACKUP (Better Action by Citizens for Kilowatts of Uninterruptible Power)

You can also just pull some of your household items off the grid with a solar UPS – take a look at my project page.

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