Energy storage and management solutions provider Electriq Power Holdings is gearing up to launch 10 new “sustainable community networks” – programs that incentivize the deployment of solar-plus-battery storage systems – in Los Angeles County.
The program, called the PoweredUp Network, essentially offers qualifying homeowners solar-plus-battery storage systems at zero upfront costs, and without income, credit or property lien requirements. The systems can also help residents reduce electricity costs by up to 20%, access back-up power, and avoid peak pricing periods on the grid, according to the company.
“Our program is great for low-to-moderate income households because it gives them the ability to install solar + storage because we’ve removed those financial barriers,” said Frank Magnotti, CEO of Electriq Power.
Electriq Power is aiming to launch the networks by the end of the first quarter, and estimates that around 400,000 residents in Southern California will be eligible for it.
In November, the company expanded in New England, launching a similar network in the city of Derby, Connecticut to around 3,000 eligible homeowners. The company’s programs could be an especially good fit in areas that have high electricity costs – like Connecticut, where the retail price of electricity is around 10 cents/kWh higher than the national average, as well as other parts of New England, which the company is continuing to consider for additional sustainable community networks.
California’s three large investor-owned utilities – Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric – have meanwhile seen residential electric rates increase by between 34% to 82% since 2014, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The state has also been facing challenges with grid reliability, driven by increasing electricity demand – due in part to severe weather patterns – and the need to meet that demand during the evening hours, when solar power is declining on the grid.
Electriq Power’s solar-plus-storage systems also have the ability to export back to the grid, according to Magnotti, and the battery component of the system is equipped with operational software using which owners can participate in virtual power plant (VPP) programs – essentially, sending power back to the grid when demand is high, helping to prevent blackouts.
VPPs are aggregations of distributed energy resources, like rooftop solar, energy storage and demand response efforts, that can be designed to offer additional capacity when electricity demand on the grid is high, providing a potential alternative to natural gas peaker plants. One study, by the Brattle Group, estimates that utilities could see savings of $35 billion by 2033 by using VPPs for peaker capacity.
Electriq Power reported preliminary fourth quarter revenue results earlier this month, expecting to record around $1.3 million in sales for the quarter, which Magnotti said represented year-over-year growth of over 100%. The company estimates that the Southern California contract could generate incremental “total contract value” – essentially, anticipated revenue over the next three years – of $30 million. The company has also more than 160 signed power purchase agreements via its sustainability community networks, which it says could generate around $5 million in revenue over the first and second quarters of the year.
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