Full Value of Small Scale Solar Plus Storage yet to Realised: DNV GL

BTM Solar Plus Storage systems can be advantageous to many types of customers, but energy providers have not accessed their full value yet.

Solar Plus Storage Value

Behind the Meter (BTM) Solar Plus Storage systems can be advantageous to many types of customers, from individual homeowners to Fortune 500 companies with large portfolios and footprints, but energy providers have not accessed the full value that these distributed resources can provide customers and the grid, a new report from DNV GL finds.

The report adds that to increase the penetration of BTM solar plus storage in areas that have lower uptake and to make the most of the market in areas where it is more common, developers, load-serving entities, investors, distributed energy resources (DER) and other energy service providers must adopt innovative solutions that go beyond the direct economic benefit of lower utility bills and emphasise its difficult to quantify benefits that include resilience, carbon emission reductions, and system peak load reduction.

The report, ‘Strategies for Success in Small Scale Solar + Storage’, provides 12 innovative approaches that energy providers can use to increase solar plus storage project margins, reduce costs and support market growth. These strategies, based on market and business fundamentals, reveal untapped opportunities in the market by highlighting synergies between multiple sector stakeholders across the wholesale and retail markets. Strategies include:

  • Wholesale market integration: Allow solar and storage customers to share in the value of wholesale capacity, energy, and ancillary services markets  
  • Pricing Structures: Develop products and pricing designs to reflect the value distributed energy resources can provide
  • Customer data: Leverage data to improve customer targeting, quantify real-time greenhouse gas emissions
  • Partnerships: Engage in partnerships with adjacent industries and lenders to simplify customer offers
  • Digital green neighbourhoods: Connect customers with one another to share virtual green power through peer-to-peer trading, community solar, and community storage.

“Tried and true sales and outreach methods have worked well in areas where BTM solar plus storage is enabled and economically advantageous, but innovative strategies are needed to deepen penetration to residential and commercial and industrial (C&I) customers more widely across the U.S.,” said Richard S. Barnes, region president for Energy North America at DNV GL.

“Storage + solar can provide customers of all sizes with benefits that go beyond costs savings by lowering carbon emissions and providing resilience against power outages, and DNV GL’s unique insight into innovative strategies and solutions can help to squeeze more value out of DERs and provide energy stakeholders a launchpad to expand their market share.” 

Further, the report adds that all customer segments—residential and C&I—share the same driver when it comes to installing behind the meter solar plus storage: economics. These projects can significantly lower utility bills while providing customers with clean, local, and reliable energy. Growth has been most prevalent in markets where there is the clearest economic case, such as Hawaii, California, Arizona, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. 

Storage plus solar also offers important additional value to customers that goes beyond utility bill savings. The growing chorus of C&I customers with strong and centralised sustainability and renewable energy programs are highly motivated by solar plus storage’s contribution toward achieving renewable energy or greenhouse gas emissions pledges. For residential customers, the value of solar plus storage is enhanced by the desire to eliminate the risk of being without power for an extended period, especially in areas that are subject to storms or wildfire.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.

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