Understanding Solar+Storage: Answers to Commonly Asked Questions About Solar PV and Battery Storage

October 21, 2020

Marriele Mango, Seth Mullendore | Clean Energy Group

This guide addresses commonly asked questions about solar PV and battery storage (solar+storage) technologies. It is based on the results of a survey identifying the most common knowledge gaps around solar and energy storage.

The information presented in the guide focuses primarily on customer-sited, behind-the-meter solar+storage installations, though much of the information is relevant to other types of projects as well, including storage-only projects and front-of-the-meter solar+storage projects. It is meant to serve as a starting point to establish a foundation of knowledge and understanding for individuals and organizations beginning to explore solar+storage options for their homes, businesses, or community facilities.

Topics addressed include the following:

  • What factors do I need to consider when designing a solar+storage system?
  • What different types of batteries are available (and which one is right for me)?
  • What size battery do I need?
  • Is solar+storage an effective backup power solution?
  • Can storage be added to an existing solar system?
  • How long does a solar+storage system last?
  • How much do batteries cost?
  • How do I determine the value of solar+storage (savings, revenue, resilience)?
  • How can I pay for a solar+storage system (incentives, grants, financing)?
  • Can solar+storage be developed to benefit low-income communities?
  • Is battery storage safe?
  • What are the environmental impacts of battery storage?

The guide is informed by more than six years of experience through Clean Energy Group’s work with property owners, developers, nonprofits, and communities to advance solar+storage in underserved communities. The questions and topic areas addressed in the guide are based on feedback from nearly one hundred stakeholders who submitted questions about solar+storage.

A Spanish-language version of this guide is available here