Electriq Power Holdings, a provider of energy storage and management solutions, has launched a program in the city of Derby, Connecticut to help homeowners access solar-plus-battery solutions regardless of their socioeconomic status.
The program, dubbed PoweredUp Derby, is supported by the city and will contribute to lowering electricity costs and providing back-up power for participants during outages, according to the company. Under the program, homeowners can have a turnkey solar-plus-battery storage system installed in their homes without any upfront costs, income verification, credit score, or property lien requirements. Almost 3,000 homeowners in the city are eligible for the program.
“It gives customers, including those who are low-to-moderate income the ability to access clean, reliable energy whereas traditionally, to install a system like this, you’d have to pay upfront,” CEO Frank Magnotti told pv magazine USA.
These systems are also compatible with virtual power plant programs and if needed, can be integrated with local programs, he added.
Electriq Power calls these set-ups ‘Sustainable Community Networks’ (SCNs) and has deployed a number of them in California. This will be its first SCN in the New England region. Both these areas have very high electricity costs – in Connecticut, for example, the retail price of electricity is around 10 cents/kWh higher than the national average, and has risen 17% between 2015 and 2022 – which is one of the reasons the company has targeted them.
That’s because solar-plus-battery storage systems can help homeowners save money – in part by storing demand when energy is cheap and plentiful, and then discharging it during peak demand periods, when electricity rates are high. Electriq Power estimates that the systems can help save up to 20% in electricity costs annually.
Electriq Power’s partnership with the city of Derby will help residents lower electricity costs and strengthen their financial position, Roger Salway, the city’s economic director, agreed.
“This is a program that can help residents improve their life, and for us, that’s a win-win,” Salway added.
Electriq Power is also actively pursuing additional SCN programs throughout New England, and “would welcome the opportunity to work with municipalities and community-based organizations within the area to help them accelerate their sustainability goals, while assisting residents with lowering their electricity bills and being prepared for power outages,” Magnotti said.
In addition to being a source of back-up power, Electriq Power’s solar-plus-storage systems also have the ability to export power back to the grid. The battery storage component of the system is equipped with operational software that allows owners to participate in virtual power plant programs, Magnotti said, where their stored energy can be exported to the local electrical grid to help alleviate stress when demand is high, helping to prevent a power outage.
In March this year, Electriq Power entered into a multi-year agreement with a U.S.-based clean-energy company for financing estimated to be more than $300 million over 30 months. This funding was reportedly to support the deployment of SCNs in California, which Electriq Power views as a hedge against rising utility rates.
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