By Jeff St. John | GreenTech Media
SolarCity, the country’s biggest solar PV installer, and Tesla Motors, the country’s biggest electric vehicle maker (and soon to be the country’s biggest advanced battery manufacturer), could be the utility industry’s worst nightmare.
Consider the threat represented by two fast-growing companies, combining forces to bring energy independence to utility customers via mass-market battery-backed solar systems. It’s a transformation that strikes at the heart of the “we make it, you buy it” electric utility business model that has kept the grid humming and modern industrial society running for the past century.
But looked at another way, the SolarCity/Tesla solar-energy storage push could be seen as a solution to a host of utility and grid challenges. That’s because SolarCity’s small but growing number of energy storage installations aren’t just a lot of relatively tiny batteries, backing up lots of relatively tiny solar PV systems, in isolation from the grid.