Published on July 10th, 2014 | by Derek Markham
KB Home and SunPower Collaborate on Home Solar Energy Storage
Houses 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