Batteries of the AA and AAA variety are a staple on my Walmart orders this time of year. Just in case the box reads “batteries not included,” I have a stash. After all, batteries help power the holiday season, from the decorations that deck the halls, to the toys you give at Christmastime.
For most of us, battery storage refers to a drawer in the kitchen. But the kind of battery storage designed to power your home is an emerging energy trend. Cooperative members are looking for greener ways to produce energy and consume the electricity used to power their daily lives. York Electric and cooperatives across the country are evaluating and testing this new battery technology.
As renewable energy such as wind and solar has become a more significant part of our energy mix, so has the need for storage options. In 2017, wind and solar electricity generation set a record by exceeding 10% of U.S. energy generation, according to the Energy Information Agency (EIA) and this has grown each year. Battery storage offers a solution to contain unused energy from renewable energy generation to use at a more convenient time.
What does this mean for YEC members?
We are testing the potential of large-scale battery units for increased reliability, back-up power, renewable electric generation pairing and peak demand shaving to hold down costs. This new technology is promising, but it has an expensive price tag—both for your home and as part of our distribution system. Rest assured, we’re making sure these types of investments are best for our members.
Battery storage at home
Large or small, the concept of battery storage is the same. An average residential battery stores 13 kilowatts, which can power an electric water heater for two to three hours. You need a lot more power to make everyday life comfortable. While a typical residential battery won’t power your whole house, it can provide enough power to provide a more resilient lifestyle in the event of an outage. Additionally, batteries can be coupled together to provide a more robust supply of energy that will power more things for longer periods of time.
Using the battery from an electric vehicle (EV) as a power source for your home opens the door for even greater storage possibilities. While this process is still being developed and tested, adding the storage capacity from an EV’s battery to a residential battery system could more than quadruple the output of supply. Charging your car could mean peace of mind that your refrigerator could be powered for weeks during a large-scale outage.
While YEC members who are using rooftop solar have the most to gain from battery storage, it is new and exciting for everyone. Just like your battery storage drawer helps you prepare for the unexpected power needs, YEC is here to help you learn and navigate these new technologies.
We’re always looking out for you (and your battery-powered toys) and wish you a Merry Christmas.
President and Chief Executive Officer
YEC offices will be closed to celebrate the following holidays:
- Thanksgiving Nov. 24 and 25
- Christmas Dec. 23 and 26
- New Year’s Jan. 2, 2023
Crews will be on standby in the event of an outage. YEC wishes you and your family a healthy, safe, and happy holiday season. Merry Christmas from your co-op!