Renewable Energy SunPower Corp Solar and Storage INFO

Published on July 10th, 2014 | by Derek Markham

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KB Home and SunPower Collaborate on Home Solar Energy Storage

July 10th, 2014 by

SunPower Corp Solar and Storage INFOHouses in select KB Home communities located in in Irvine, El Dorado Hills, and San Diego, CA, will be able to not only generate their own clean energy with home solar power systems, but will also be able to store that energy, thanks to the pilot program in a collaboration between SunPower and KB Home.

Solar power is already an option for homebuyers at over 150 KB Home communities, with SunPower’s high-efficiency home solar systems being offered for new houses, but this new collaboration aims to take one of the pain points out of grid-tied solar, which is that during a power outage when the grid is down, even homes with solar panels on them can’t use any electricity, due to lack of energy storage at the location.

This new pilot program is part practicality (for the homeowners), and part demonstrative, as it can exhibit to prospective solar customers how they could use this state-of-the-art solar storage technology to take advantage of their already high-performing SunPower systems.

“With energy storage capability, homeowners with solar power systems and home system monitoring today can control their electricity costs and have the security of knowing they’ll have power during an outage. In the near future, battery storage will help homeowners manage energy loads using stored power, including charging electric vehicles at night.” – SunPower CEO Tom Werner

According to KB Home, adding these home solar energy storage solutions to their energy-efficient houses “is a key differentiator” for the company, and is an example of their “forward-thinking approach” to innovations in new homes. A KB Home community in Irvine, Vicenza at Orchard Hills, will feature SunPower solar power systems on every house, and will also be one of the first to participate in the energy storage program.

An estimate from KB indicates that each one of the homes in that community could reap significant savings in energy costs over the next decade:

“KB Home estimates that at current residential electric rates, a 1.4-kilowatt high-efficiency photovoltaic system provided by SunPower and installed as a standard part of a 3,654-square-foot, ENERGY STAR® certified home at Vicenza would yield average energy savings of $216 per month, or approximately $25,900 over ten years, compared to a typical resale home without these features.”

Adding energy storage to a clean electricity source such as home solar PV can allow the residents to continue to have access to power, even when the grid goes out, and to also better manage their overall electrical costs and usage. These two elements will become increasingly important as more people adopt electric vehicles and shift their electricity demands to different times of the day, especially at night, when solar isn’t producing.

Image: SunPower Corp

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About the Author

lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, slacklining, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves good food, with fresh roasted chiles at the top of his list of favorites. Catch up with Derek on Twitter, RebelMouse, Google+, or at his natural parenting site, Natural Papa!



  • Tom Street

    There is no way a 1.4 kw system can save that kind of money. Something is wrong with this article.

    • Offgridman

      Some possible mitigating factors for the numbers, I think in California anything covering the ground (and preventing rain absorption) has to be included in the square footage of the house, thus the garage, porches, patio, even the extruding battery shed displayed are included.
      Also California homes that are insulated to the quality more usually found in the northeast or northern midwest are a lot closer to net zero due to the mild climate, and another feature mentioned before by these companies.
      And lastly with the energy star appliances, I was surprised myself to find that the new regulations for ’14 have got the refrigerators to as low of an energy draw that even 4-5 years ago I had to find offgrid purpose built with DC motors and extra insulation to match.
      With super efficient equipment our 2.7 Kw system with battery storage has allowed the same lifestyle for eight years offgrid that used to cost us an average of 200$ a month in power bills. These numbers in the article are possible.

  • Kevin McKinney

    A 3,600 square foot house? Pardon me if I question its green credentials!

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