SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) will continue its services to connect energy storage systems following the regulator’s verdict that they are not liable for utility fees, says a report from Bloomberg. In March, the largest solar power provider in the United States discontinued installation and connection of the storage system for hundreds of the customers in the state after utilities were said to require various applications and fees that made the whole process tiring.
Utility companies feared loss on monopoly
However, the California Public utility commission has ordered the utility companies to stop charging fees of as much as $800. The commission is expected to accept the decision and the final ruling will come by May 15.
The electricity companies grew wary of the fact that connecting rooftops solar panels with batteries to produce energy will wrest away their monopoly as consumers will not be wholly dependent on the local power.
Peter Rive, chief commercial officer of San Mateo, California-based SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY), said in an interview “When we first started it wasn’t clear to us that these fees would be charged.” He said that everyone is happy with the decision.
Sempra Energy’s San Diego Gas & Electric Co. is against the exemptions as the company thinks that the technology will recover some cost from customers without such systems. On the other hand, PG&E Corp is in favor of the exemptions, but only for residential customers limited to a trial period.
SolarCity storage and Utilities a good combination
According to Rive, utility companies should accept the battery storage systems in the form of an extra tool to manage the grid and bring down the costs for all consumers. He said that there are various benefits of including this storage on the grid. In his blog post on Wednesday, Rive mentioned that storage will be a vital part of the power grid in the wake of the utility industry, which is taking benefits from renewable energy.
“There’s a misconception that we want to remove people from the grid. There’s a positive network benefit from storage,” added Rive
SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) launched a program under which it would offer batteries to solar customers in California and New England through 10-year contracts without any immediate payment.