California has hit a significant milestone this year: more than one million rooftop solar installations on homes, schools, businesses, and farms. With California leading the way, the U.S. reached two million installations this year.
The growth has been rapid, nearly all of it in the last decade. In 2006, there were only about 20,000 installations statewide—solar was still too expensive. Thanks to a federal tax credit, a California rebate, and lower installation costs, solar power suddenly became affordable. Another financial incentive has been net metering: A home that produces surplus solar power sends that energy back to the grid and receives a credit on the utility bill. To further sweeten the deal, research by Zillow has found that solar panels increase a home’s value 4.1%.
But the solar landscape is changing for homeowners. With utility companies introducing Time of Use billing to offset net metering, proposing high minimum usage fees, and using other strategies to reduce the financial benefit of self-producing power, solar owners are under attack.
Experts say that to maximize the investment in solar power going forward, homeowners should have solar plus storage. With an energy storage system, the power generated by rooftop panels during daylight can be saved for use in the evening or periods of darkness, to help hedge against utility rate structure changes and net metering credit adjustments. These systems also provide critical backup power if the grid goes down.
One of the latest and best-performing energy storage solutions comes from Southern California: the NeoVolta NV14. The NV14’s advanced lithium iron phosphate chemistry makes it safer and longer-lasting than ordinary lithium ion batteries. The system offers a high storage capacity of 14.4 kilowatt hours (kWh) and delivers 7.6 kW of continuous power, easily outperforming competitors such as the Tesla Powerwall. Homeowners will also have the option of adding an additional battery system, which will increase the NV14’s energy storage from 14.4 to 24.0 kWh. By simply adding additional battery storage capacity, NV14 users avoid the extra expense of installing an entire second storage system (inverter and battery). For the vast majority of households, 8,760 Watts of inverter power is more than enough. With NeoVolta’s NV14, homeowners can design a system that is specific to their needs.
The NV14 can connect with any residential solar installation, new or existing, and the inverter can be coupled to DC solar panels, for greater efficiency and additional savings, and/or to AC solar panels. In the event of a blackout, The NV14 will instantly and automatically disconnect from the grid and continue to power a home’s critical loads indefinitely. The NV14 is backed by a ten-year warranty.
“This milestone is just the start,” said Brent Willson, CEO of NeoVolta. “In 2020, California will become the first state to require rooftop solar panels on new home construction. With 100,000 single-family homes going up each year, it won’t take that long for our state to reach two million installations. If your home has solar, take full advantage of it with the NV14. You’ll protect yourself from future utility rate changes, while gaining energy security and self-sufficiency.”