I liked to this story in my earlier post. Most of the Oak Park story consists of an interview with Oak Park’s Sustainability Director. It appears that participants in the project will all have 3 kilowatt solar arrays plus battery backup. Here’s how it works:
There are a couple scenarios a homeowner can choose in terms of how to use it. The one that we talk about the most is this idea of collecting the solar energy during the day and storing it in the battery and then having the house run on the battery at night so you’re completely offline at night and the battery provides a phantom load — your clocks, TV. Your energy load is pretty low at night but that means you’re not taking anything off the grid. So you’re reducing your bill right there.
Then let’s say there’s an outage in your neighborhood. What we want these systems to be able to do is operate off the battery so these houses can stay somewhat energized. It’s only a three kilowatt system on the house so it’s not like you could have every appliance running at the same time. You’ll have enough for lights, fans, and the refrigerator or A/C. But at least you’re online still and you’re not losing an entire freezer of meat.
If you have been reading The Power Line regularly, you would have read this post from 2010. That post included a link to pictures of my home system which is just like the one described above, except my total PV generating capacity is only 1.38 kW, which works just fine for us.
Too bad the WV PSC missed out on an opportunity to have advanced technology companies pay for more reliability in WV. At least we have Oak Park as an example.
West Virginians can always invest in reliability on their own, but it would be nice if we had real vision and leadership in the state so that everyone could benefit.