Solar Plus Battery Storage
Maximizing the sun's energy - for today or tomorrow!
PSEG Long Island’s Solar PV + Battery Storage Program
Capturing clean, renewable power from the sun with a solar photovoltaic (PV) system brings many benefits, including lower energy bills and reduced environmental impact. But there’s been one thing missing, until now.
Storing Solar Energy
Solar panels produce energy all day whether you need it or not – and it’s often more than you need. The only option for excess power has been to send it into the energy grid in exchange for credits. A new solution involves familiar technology: batteries. Technological advances in battery energy storage have made it an affordable option. By storing solar energy, you have more control over how and when you use it, with greater benefits than a solar PV system alone.
Benefits of Storing Solar Energy: A Win-Win-Win
- For our environment: solar energy is renewable, sustainable and produces no harmful emissions
- For you: Access stored power during a power outage and receive compensation by participating in our Energy Storage Rewards program
- For the community: Programs like Energy Storage Rewards reduce the need to expand the energy grid or to build new power plants
How it Works
A battery storage system is housed indoors or outdoors in a box the size of a small cabinet. Most systems use lithium-ion batteries – like in a cell phone or electric vehicle. Your solar contractor will determine the best location for your solar panels and batteries and the appropriate size of the entire system.
The system can provide backup power when the energy grid experiences an outage. Your battery storage system will act like a generator to power your home – either partially or fully depending on your individual system. If there’s a multi-day outage, the solar panels will recharge the battery each day to keep your home running throughout.
Our Time of Use (TOU) rates offer another way to benefit from solar power. TOU rates offer lower energy prices during periods of the day and night when demand for electricity is low and higher prices in the late afternoon and evening when demand is greater. Your solar panels can charge your battery while you use power from the energy grid at lower prices. Then, you avoid the higher cost periods by powering your home with the battery system. TOU rates are not right for everyone though, as it depends on the size of your system and how you use it.
Netting the Benefits
For a solar installation, we will replace the current electric meter with a “net meter”. This meter measures electricity flowing in two directions to determine your “net” usage, which is the difference between the amount of power you supply into the energy grid and the amount you get from it. The reading on a net meter runs backwards when you are supplying energy into the grid. If there’s a billing period during which you supplied more power than you used, you’ll earn credits that will reduce future bills. A net meter cannot measure the total amount of energy produced by your system. Speak with your solar contractor about obtaining that information.
New York State’s Solar Plus Battery Storage incentive is available for the energy storage component of the system and reduces your upfront cost. You must have a participating NY-Sun contractor install the system and meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Enroll in PSEG Long Island’s Energy Storage Rewards program and commit to actively participating for a minimum of five years.
- Have at least 80% of the batteries’ usable capacity available between May 1 – September 30, except during major storms.
- You may also qualify for federal and state tax credits on both the solar panels and storage system. Your solar contractor can provide all of the details and submit the required documentation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please see the following frequently asked questions.
- Why does my system need to be connected to the energy grid?
Even with battery storage, a solar PV system cannot provide all of the energy you need. The energy grid supplies power at night or on cloudy days and takes in excess power when your batteries are fully charged. Excess power is converted to energy credits that help reduce bills that include the cost of energy from the grid.
- Will I still get an electric bill?
Yes, but they should be significantly lower. Because you’re still connected to the energy grid, there’s a daily service charge and there will always be times when you are drawing power from the grid, like at night.
- When is the stored energy used?
The batteries can provide limited power during a power outage, eliminating the need for a noisy, fuel-burning standby generator. But it also gives you the opportunity to benefit from a Time Of Use (TOU) rate that can save you even more money than with a solar PV system alone. TOU rates are not right for everyone, so be sure to discuss this option with your aggregator.
- Will I have power during an outage on the grid?
Yes, if your solar panels are paired with a battery storage system. A solar PV system alone shuts down during an outage to prevent power from flowing into the energy grid, which could endanger repair crews. When you add energy storage, the system will provide limited power around the clock to run essential circuits in your home, like for some lights, heat and kitchen appliances. There’s no need for a standby generator. Your contractor will help you determine your energy needs during an outage.
- Can I go completely “off the grid”?
While it’s technically possible, it’s rarely cost effective. Supplying and storing 100% of a home’s energy needs 24/7 would require a significant expense for the additional solar panels and larger batteries.
- Do I have to include energy storage in my system?
No. Solar power alone is a great way to save money and protect our environment. Adding energy storage delivers even greater benefits.