What Are Duke Energy’s Florida Solar Battery Study Findings?
With the rise in air pollution awareness, Duke has made strides towards mitigating its contribution to the problem at hand. Duke Energy wants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from its generation fleet by 50 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050. This goal was on track in 2020 when the utility achieved a 40 percent reduction. One of the ways that this company has striven to reduce its carbon footprint is through a battery study. While a study may not seem like a big deal, research is often the first step towards change. The results of this study could determine how the Floridians that Duke Energy serves receive power after an outage.
What the ‘Bring Your Own Battery’ Study Entails
On January 20, 2022, Duke Energy announced the launch of a 12-month study, which will pay customers for using their energy storage during peak demand. Only customers that already have a home battery can participate in the “Bring Your Own Battery” (BYOB) study.
Participation Compensation for Duke’s Battery Study
While the Florida utility’s press release doesn’t say anything about it, PV Magazine noted that a Duke spokesperson said study participants will receive monetary compensation. How much they will get paid, however, is unknown. In 2020, net metering participants received 1.986 ¢/kWh. It would make sense if these home battery owners are given a similar rate to net metering participants, but until an official statement comes out, we won’t know. Thankfully, Duke has a history of working with solar homeowners and diversifying its renewable energy portfolio, which means good things could be in store for Floridians under Duke Energy’s jurisdiction.
Duke Energy’s Reasoning for this Battery Storage Project
Duke launched the BYOB study to help alleviate stress on the grid. In this study, Duke will gather customer battery usage data while using these batteries during outages to power their neighbor’s homes. The hope is that this information will help the utility determine how best to use residential battery storage to improve grid resiliency.
Grid Resilience and Duke Coalition
This study is not the first time Duke has looked outside the box to provide grid resilience. Duke has a Coalition that has worked on interoperability within the power grid. With the help of the many partners in this coalition, Duke has worked to decrease costs and increase resilience through the application of smart grids and smart meters.
Duke’s Sustainable Solutions
As part of Duke’s sustainable solutions effort, it has turned towards microgrid and community solar technology to provide power continuity. The utility has also added large battery sites. However, until now, the utility has not tapped into home batteries.
Future Implications This Study has for Floridians
While this study looks specifically at home batteries, like the Tesla Powerwall, batteries and solar often go hand-in-hand. If this study proves that home batteries are a viable way for utilities to increase grid resilience, you could potentially make money off your stored electricity during outages. If you also have solar, you could charge your battery with the sun and possibly earn even more. Regardless of how this study turns out, the trend towards securing our electricity with renewables is increasing; each homeowner with solar and battery backup has one less thing to worry about in an emergency.