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Battery Storage

Discussions on pairing small-scale renewables with storage are often referring to batteries. Batteries can store excess electricity generation from intermittent renewable sources like solar PV, wind, or micro-hydro to provide energy at times when those sources are not producing. When homes or businesses have renewable energy systems connected to the grid, they usually meet their energy needs by drawing from the grid when their systems are not generating energy. In these cases, battery storage can provide back-up power when the grid experiences outages. For off-grid systems, batteries are often a critical component of ensuring consistent access to energy when intermittent renewable sources are not generating energy. The most common battery storage technology at the moment is lithium ion batteries, which refers to the chemistry used in these batteries to store energy. For more information about types of batteries, and their different specifications, you can visit Energy Sage's information on battery storage.

What size system do I need?

The size you choose for your battery system will depend on your energy needs and goals. Battery storage that is intended to supply back-up power incase of outages usually is sized to power some key energy uses for a limited amount of time before the battery needs to be recharged. Battery storage that is intended for off-grid systems is often sized to provide power throughout the longest stretch of low energy generation from renewable sources like wind or solar over the course of a year. You will want to connect with a battery storage installer to talk through your energy needs and battery options.

How much will it cost?

Generally, battery storage for a home can cost around $10,000-$20,000, with a wide range of variation based on the size of battery and the type of technology it uses. If you are installing batteries along with a renewable energy generation system, additional financing and incentive options are available. One of the best ways to ensure your renewable energy system pencils out financially is to transition your home or business to be all electric and to invest in energy efficiency measures. To learn more, see our resources on Efficiency and Electrification.

What incentives and tax credits are available?

If battery storage is installed at the same time as a renewable energy system, the Federal Investment Tax Credit will apply to both. Otherwise, the tax credit will not cover batteries alone. Visit our Financing and Incentives page to learn more about your options.

Where can I find an installer?

The column on the right hand side of this page lists a number of installers operating in Montana. These companies are all MREA members! You can also visit our full Installer Directory for an interactive map of installers.

Where can I find more information?

Photo Credit (this page): Sage Mountain Center