The utilities are at an existential crossroads. Let’s hope they pick the road leading to grid-connected systems of solar plus batteries, before they lose thousands of customers and billions of dollars.
Unlike their larger off-grid counterparts, leaner and meaner grid-connected battery systems could check electricity costs and increase savings no matter what peak retail prices may be, according to the Rocky Mountain Institute and HOMER Energy’s new report, The Economics of Load Defection. Better yet, they could supplant the traditional grid by supplying the majority of utility customers with power, rewriting what the general public believes a utility to be in the process. Even if a fraction of customers independently go solar using grid-connected battery systems, the utilities stand to lose millions of kilowatts and billions of dollars in central generation.
The utilities now must decide whether they want to part of the energy problem, or part of its solution.