Photos by Sunverge Energy

This innovative solar+storage project has demonstrated the value of battery storage for residential customers.

2500 R Street Community Development

Sacramento, California

As the first zero net energy (ZNE) community development on the West Coast, Pacific Housing’s 2500 R Street Zero Net Energy Community Development is a model of sustainable affordable housing that has set a new standard for low-impact single family residential development. In addition to being transit oriented and highly energy efficient, the 34 single-family homes within 2500 R Street include a solar and energy storage platform bundle made up of a 2.25kW solar array, an 11.64kWh battery, and intelligent technologies like smart plugs and thermostats. Residents also have online access to monitor their energy usage, check pricing, monitor energy efficiency, and more.

Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD), Sunverge Energy, and affordable housing developer Pacific Housing, Inc. partnered on this project to explore the potential for solar+storage technologies in a ZNE community, which can be used as a model going forward as the state transitions to mandated ZNE residential development by 2020. Construction commenced in 2010 and finished in 2013, with all of the units being sold within one year from completion.

This innovative solar+storage project has effectively demonstrated the value of battery storage for residential customers. Customers within the community who had energy storage were able to achieve 33 percent greater savings than residents in homes with solar PV systems alone. Under certain rate pricing structures, customers were able to save an average of $51 per month on electricity bills, resulting in a total cost savings above 100 percent. Solar+storage systems were also able to fully power critical loads during any outages that occurred during the initial project trial period, improving both power and economic resiliency for affordable housing residents.

From the utility’s perspective, these systems allowed SMUD to assess the value streams associated with integrated energy storage like peak load shifting and backup power, gain insights on the grid impacts of customer-sited energy storage solutions to mitigate higher renewables penetration, and improve energy supply reliability.

Installation Details

Year Commissioned: 2013

Services Provided: Backup power, Demand management, Demand response, Ancillary services

Supported Infrastructure: Affordable Housing Development

Solar: 2.25kW at 34 residences (76.5kW total)

Storage: 11.64kWh at 34 residences (396kWh total)

Project Partners: Pacific Housing, Inc., Sacramento Municipal Utility Department, Sunverge Energy