Super-Charge Your Energy Savings With Solar+Storage

Published January 07, 2020

Super-Charge Your Energy Savings With Solar+Storage

DATE PUBLISHED: January 07, 2020
Category: Blog Article

Solar energy is a powerful way to reduce electricity overhead expenses for cities, towns and schools. Solar energy plus energy storage is even more powerful.


The potential for your organization to save and profit from solar has entered a new dimension with the introduction of solar with energy storage systems. Being able to store clean, low-cost solar electricity and use it at the most strategic times is a game-changer,  increasing both the revenue and savings of the system can provide. 

Government leaders and utilities like energy storage for its economic and environmental benefits. Their interest has spurred the creation of compelling incentives for installing solar paired with storage, or Solar+Storage as it’s often called. These state and utility incentives, combined with a federal tax credit have created a new way for renewable energy to benefit the host, the owner and the environment. 

Since municipalities and schools don’t pay income taxes and can’t claim the tax credit, the value of those incentives are passed along to you by Solect Energy in the form of low monthly lease payments, which significantly reduce your electricity overhead expense. 

Solar+Storage offers another appealing function. Some municipalities and schools install energy-efficient combo to serve as a backup energy system. In those cases, the storage system is engineered to provide electricity for critical functions during planned or unplanned power outages.


How Solar+Storage Saves You Money

Solar energy alone is a safe and easy way to free up money for more important town and school priorities. When you add storage to the equation, it introduces a number of options for further reducing electricity costs. The best part is: since you don’t own the system—Solect Energy or one of our partners does—you don’t have to manage or worry about any of those programs. We do it for you and share the benefits.

Here's a summary of the benefits of Solar alone, and Solar+Storage.

Standalone Solar


Monthly electricity payments that are substantially lower than what you pay the utility

Even lower monthly electricity payments than what you get with solar alone

PILOT (Payments in Lieu of Taxes) payments to your city or town

PILOT (Payments in Lieu of Taxes) payments to your city or town

No lengthy RFP process required

No lengthy RFP process required

No maintenance responsibility

No maintenance responsibility

No capital investment

No capital investment

Storage enables the system owner to further reduce electricity expenses compared to a standalone solar energy system in two ways:

  1. Low-cost stored solar electricity can be used instead of expensive utility electricity during the utility’s “peak demand” times, when utility rates are at a premium. 
  2. Low-cost stored solar electricity can be used instead of utility electricity during your peak demand times, when your city, town or school requires the most power. Storage targets and lowers the peaks or spikes in your usage, which reduces your demand charges.

Demand charges make up 30% to 70% of your electricity overhead, so reducing them has a big impact. 

There’s more. Owners of Solar+Storage can participate in utility “demand response” programs that pay the owners to draw from their battery stored power at strategic times, thus reducing strain on the utility grid. 

Since Solect and our partners manage these complex programs for our municipal and school customers, you don’t really need to bone up on demand charges. But if you’d like to learn more, read our blog post on Why Business Owners Should Care About Utility Demand Charges


Using Solar+Storage for Emergency Power


Electricity overhead reductions drive most towns, schools and cities to install Solar+Storage systems, but others choose the combo to provide backup electricity during power outages. Battery stored power is a safe and reliable way to add a layer of protection to your operations. 

The Medford Department of Public Works (DPW) in Massachusetts is having Solect install Solar+Storage mainly for backup power. Like any New England town, Medford needs power to manage snow removal crews during blizzards, maintaining public safety. In addition, the DPW serves as an emergency headquarters during natural disasters, so uninterrupted power supply is critical to their operations and the services they provide. For the DPW, the savings that storage delivers are merely icing on the cake.

If you require an uninterruptible power supply for lighting, communications, refrigeration or other central function, a storage system can be configured to switch on automatically when the power goes out.


Paying for Energy Storage

Because cities, towns and schools typically lease Solar+Storage systems through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), rather than owning them, the following incentives apply to the system owner—usually Solect Energy or one of our partners. We then share the benefits with you—the organization hosting the Solar+Storage system. We list the programs here to show you how cost-effective storage is today.

The same federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) that pays for a substantial piece of the cost of a solar energy system also applies to solar energy storage systems.

Many states have introduced incentive programs that compensate solar owners for installing energy storage systems, storing clean energy, and using that stored energy at specific times, as touched on above. For example, in Massachusetts, the “SMART 2.0” program includes an incentive to install storage along with solar. 

Those federal and state incentives cover about two-thirds of an energy storage system’s cost. The other third is recovered through the utility “demand response” programs that Solect manages on your behalf.

Again, even though you don’t benefit directly from these incentives, you benefit through greatly reduced monthly electric bills.


Energy Storage Technology

The lithium ion battery technology at the heart of most energy storage systems is proven and safe. The battery chemistry is similar to that used in the over 6 million electric vehicles and hybrids sold in the US over the last 20 years. Commercial Energy Storage Systems undergo rigorous testing and engineering. Solect only uses UL listed solutions that have received industry standard certification. 

The energy storage systems that Solect pairs with solar energy systems are pre-configured and scalable, and easily installed on concrete pads on your facility’s grounds, similar to a transformer or generator.

Storage is low-maintenance. Solect and our partners operate, monitor and manage your system to ensure you get maximum financial return.


Putting Storage to Work for You

Installing Solar+Storage is very easy on your end. On Solect’s end, there is a bit more engineering involved, and more to manage once the systems are up and running when compared to a standalone solar system. But that bit of effort pales when compared to the immense value that Solar+Storage delivers to the system owner, the system host (your city, town or school), the utility grid, and the environment. 

And the battery technology used in an energy storage system provides subject matter for your school’s curriculum, if desired.

Solect is already bringing the Solar+Storage formula to fruition at a number of municipalities and public and private schools. Whether you lease or loan Solar+Storage, and whether you use your solar onsite or send it all into the grid, Solect can make this formula work for you.

Contact Solect today for a quote on a Solar+Storage system for your city, town or school.