Solar energy and power outages

April 13, 2020 | 4min read

Can a solar system provide power to your home in a power outage? Yes, it can but it must have a special inverter or be equipped with home batteries. A system equipped with an inverter that allows you to draw power but doesn’t have batteries will only produce usable power for a few hours per day. 

Inverters that provide power to your home in a power outage

There are a few different brands of inverter that can provide power during a power outage. These inverters usually have an electrical outlet that you can connect an extension cord to. The amount of power they provide is limited and is nearly always less than your solar system’s rated capacity.

If you are considering buying an inverter that provides power during blackouts, you will need to determine how much power you need. These inverters can provide up to 2000 watts of power, so you won’t be powering any large appliances. But remember, these inverters can provide power from your solar to your home during a blackout only when the sun is shining. 

Solar energy storage systems

A solar energy storage system is a solar system that also has batteries installed. All solar energy storage systems can provide power during a blackout, but some provide more power than others. These systems don’t provide enough power to completely power your home, but you will be able to power some appliances. The amount of power that these systems can provide will depend on the batteries and inverter used in the system. A solar energy storage system can provide power to your home during multi-day blackouts because your solar system recharges the batteries and provides power to your home during the day when the sun is shining.

The Tesla Power Wall

Freedom Forever carries Tesla Power Wall. The Power Wall can be configured to provide as much power as you need, enough to provide backup power for your entire home. California homeowners may qualify to have their batteries installed for free or nearly free. In addition to providing power to your home in a blackout, home batteries can also save you money on your electricity bill. If power is managed wisely, such batteries can power the entire home during the peak rate hours charged by the utility company and in extended blackouts.

Your home battery budget during a power outage

Your power budget during a blackout depends on the amount of electrical capacity your batteries provide. If you used a single 9.8-kilowatt-hour battery, and you wanted to provide one kilowatt of power to your home per hour, that battery would be able to provide that amount of power for a little over 9 hours.

If you installed two 9.8 kilowatt-hour batteries, you’d be able to provide one kilowatt of power per hour for 19 hours. If you need more power, you could provide two kilowatts of power per hour for 9 hours. For most homes, having two of the 9.8-kilowatt-hour batteries equipped is likely to provide enough power to the home during blackouts that last for more than one day. You will have to manage your power usage to ensure you have enough to get through the night until your solar begins producing enough electricity to recharge your batteries the next day.

California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program

If you live in California, there has never been a better time to install batteries. As of the time of writing this article, the State of California’s Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) provides up to $400 per kilowatt-hour of installed battery capacity. Thus for a single LG Chem Cell RESU 10 home battery, qualifying applicants can receive up to $3,920 from the SGIP. If two batteries are installed, qualifying applicants can get up to $7,840.

The amount that the SGIP pays will likely be gradually reduced as homes install more batteries. Therefore to ensure the maximum SGIP payout, it’s important to install as soon as possible. Additionally, home batteries are also eligible for the federal tax credit, even if the homeowner had already claimed the credit when the solar system was first installed.

You should contact a qualified tax expert and consult with them. Neither Freedom Forever’s family of independent authorized dealers nor Freedom Forever itself can give you tax advice. A qualified tax professional will understand your situation and be able to give you the most relevant advice.

Freedom Forever can install batteries on your system

Freedom can install batteries on your existing solar system if we built it. The batteries will be covered under their 10-year warranty. Freedom Forever is open for business during the Coronavirus pandemic, so we’ll be able to get your batteries installed promptly. If you choose to go solar with us, your solar system will be covered by our 25-year performance guarantee. In times of uncertainty, one thing that shouldn’t be uncertain is your home’s supply of electricity.

Ready to go solar? Call us at 800-685-1850 or click below to get started.