Your Guide to Creating Sustainable Operations, Part Four: Battery Storage Systems and Final Thoughts
What happens to the energy that a solar panel array generates? Obviously, it can be used to power a facility or be fed back to the grid. However, organizations could find that the panels generate more electricity than they need at a given time of the day. In that case, you could opt for one of two choices.
You can have the excess energy sold back into the local power grid. You could even realize some discounts or tax rebates for doing this.
Some organizations store excess energy in a local battery farm. Adding battery storage to a solar panel array requires a more detailed analysis and design and additional infrastructure than a normal system would need. Battery storage also requires specialized maintenance, which equals more expense, but would allow for power when weather conditions are not ideal for solar panels.
If an organization chooses to install solar panels, it must perform specialized planning and handling of the equipment that manages excess energy. That may result in additional personnel training or hiring a firm that specializes in such equipment.
Organizations may also find that their proposed solar panel array will not generate enough energy to power their entire facility or proposed building. What can you do in that case? A facility must still be connected to the local grid to draw power when it is needed, for example, during times of excess demand, such as those that occur during the summer heat or winter freezes.
On the other hand, having excess energy stored in batteries could help a facility continue to operate if there is a power outage and may help organizations avoid paying increased fees for energy during peak demand times, which, coupled with tax credits, could help pay for battery storage in the long run.
No matter what you choose, any option that requires alterations or additions to the roof of a structure must include a roof inspection by a qualified professional.
Do NOT skip that step!
With the deployment of innovative, cutting-edge sustainability options, it is easier than ever to work green solutions into a building or facility. However, doing so may take considerable commitment, money, and other resources. Managers must have the support they need to adopt such solutions. A consultant with green energy expertise can help unlock strategies and solutions to achieve sustainability goals.
For municipalities, implementing some of these solutions could result in LEED or Energy Star ratings, but some would say that the most convincing benefit could be the cost savings achieved for their taxpayers and residents, in addition to promoting sustainability efforts and improving the environment.
Knowledgeable consultants can guide clients through this process as a trusted advisor and project manager. If you are undecided about whether these investments are worth the cost, keep in mind that many states and municipalities offer tax incentives, grants, or low-cost loans for implementing some of these options, and certain cities, such as New York City, require the use of cool technology for new or renovated roofs. Additionally, updated building codes may eventually make fossil fuels obsolete by requiring alternative energy sources in new construction or renovations.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, grant funding may be available through numerous sources and tax credits. In New York, NYSERDA provides grant funding for multiple sustainability initiatives. The federal government also makes financing available for sustainability concerns.
Contact Walden at 516-518-3705 to discuss increasing the sustainability of operations at your facility.