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Making Your Home — and the Grid — More Resilient

February 24 @ 10:00 am 11:00 am

Our guest s peaker will be Brock Glassman – Northern California District Manager for ES Solar.

As our EVASV chapter Vice President George Stuckert pointed out in his recent email “Enough of PG&E rate increases,” PG&E has killed the Solar industry in Northern California. Many solar installers have lost their jobs and several of the companies they worked for have gone out of business since the CPUC allowed the rates PG&E pays for residential solar power to be greatly reduced.

George invited us to sign a petition to turn PG&E from an investor owned utility into a public utility similar to Santa Clara’s city owned utility: Silicon Valley Power.

However, there is one segment of the solar industry that is doing well, in spite of the drastic reduction in what solar system owners now earn by selling their power to the grid. That segment of the solar industry is booming because they combine the solar panels with battery storage. Ironically, PG&E will actually pay you to make your solar system with battery storage available to provide power to the grid in times of peak customer demand.

Why do they do this? By having a large number of solar and battery storage systems available to meet peak demands, they don’t have to operate their natural gas peaker power plants or build new ones to meet future demand. Battery storage captures the output of the solar panels during the day, and makes it available around the clock. So instead of selling your surplus power to PG&E at a very low rate, you charge your batteries and use your own power, instead of buying it from PG&E when their rates are high.

With the recent rain and wind storms in California, many PG&E customers lost power for an extended period and some had the food in their refrigerator spoil. If they had solar with battery backup, they could keep the lights on, run their refrigerator, computers, TVs, etc. The automatic transfer switch seamlessly changes the home’s power source to battery power after a PG&E outage.

During the meeting, Brock will explain how all of this works and how the solar battery system can actually pay for itself from the money you save on your PG&E bill. You don’t need to pay anything up front to get the system installed. It is a monthly pay-as-you-go system where you actually pay less for all these benefits and spend significantly less than you were paying PG&E before.

Brock’s company does all of the work for you and offers a generous guarantee. They are the exclusive US distributor for the German battery company Sonnen. Sonnen is the battery supplier that PG&E likes best, because their batteries have greater capacity and much longer life than the ones used in the Tesla Power Wall.

On top of that, the Sonnen batteries use the Lithium Iron Phosphate chemistry that cannot catch fire. The Tesla batteries have a flammable electrolyte that has caused fires in several Tesla car crashes. While the presentation will focus on residential solar systems, Brock’s company has built the largest virtual power plant in the US in partnership with a company owned by Warren Buffet.

It would be nice if the petition that George mentioned actually succeeds. Either way, if a solar system can be installed on your home, you can avoid PG&E’s rate increases, be spared from future power outages and pay even less that you were paying before the rate increases.

Join the Zoom meeting at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89063594420?pwd=U3YxYWpJai9zQXVLNmhMeW1kTDZVdz09, advance registration is not required. This meeting will be recorded.