Following on the footsteps of its larger competitors including Tesla and Sunrun, Sunnova is launching a new solar power plus energy storage service. SunSafe is first being offered in California.
The product markets itself as the only residential 25-year solar plus battery storage lease with a comprehensive warranty and performance guarantee. The 25-year production guarantee tied to a defined pricing agreement, means customers pretty closely know their electricity bill for the next 25-years.
These two parts combined – 25-year hardware warranty plus matching production guarantee, in essence, offers you an insured 25-year power plant in your home.
As part of their PPA Plan, Sunnova offers customers a fixed rate, or an escalator rate – with the escalator rated projects offering greater electricity savings early. Competitor Vivint Solar is being sued by New Mexico over its delivery of escalator infused PPA Plans.
Sunnova touts ‘the smarts’ of the energy storage system as being able to:
- Manage the flow of solar electricity as it moves to the house, the grid or the storage system
- Determining peak rate periods and utilizing either solar or energy storage to power the home during these periods – attacking the Duck Curve
- Backing up the home’s critical needs during power outages
California’s big three investor-owned utilities have all moved to time-of-use rates for their residential customers who own solar PV. This system will seem to miminize draw from the grid during the high rate afternoons and evening, including after the sun sets. While California doesn’t charge residential demand charges, Massachusetts has approved for residential customers with solar in Eversource’s service area, the first time that state regulators have done so. In both of these circumstances, energy storage can help to reduce bills.
As the residential solar market starts picking up again after a slower 2017, and the price and availability of energy storage keeps dropping, this home energy storage trend is expected to keep growing. We’ve already seen industry competitors Tesla and SunRun offer energy storage along with their leases.
According to Laura Gray, Energy Storage Policy Advisor for the California Solar & Storage Association:
The market demand for solar plus storage in California is clear—customers want smart, local, clean energy technologies that are resilient and reliable
The lifetime support aspect was a big part of the SunSafe presentation.
Sunnova is gaining solar+energy storage experience supporting the re-building of Puerto Rico’s power grid. The company has been deploying solar+storage to homeowners, and has also been involved in ‘dark start’ process, in essence jump starting the power grid management hardware using batteries and solar power.
Offering the long-term warranty, production guarantee, 24-7 monitoring and a support contract is purposed to create a broad sense of peace of mind, which is something that much research says home owners seek when they shop for solar and energy storage. The company titles the offering ‘Sunnova Protect.’