Solar panels and batteries work best together, but you don’t have to install solar panels to benefit from battery storage. Battery storage systems can be installed independently of solar panels. When installed without solar panels, they’re referred to as standalone battery backup or standalone battery storage.
Standalone batteries are charged by the electric grid and can be used to store electricity for immediate or later use. You can use your stored electricity to power your home during an outage or to get around peak demand times.
If your house isn’t viable for solar panels, standalone battery storage may be a good fit for you.
Most mainstream conversation about solar battery backup usually focuses on solar panel and battery systems. In a standard solar plus battery system, a solar battery is connected to a set of PV panels and stores the excess solar power the panels produce.
Using solar panels and batteries together is optimal because it maximizes the benefits of both technologies; with solar panels and batteries, you can produce and store electricity for free using clean, renewable solar energy. But it is possible to use battery storage without solar panels.
With a standalone battery, there are no solar panels and the battery does not store solar power. Instead, it's connected to and charged by the electric grid. The battery pulls power from the grid, and you are charged for the power it uses on your monthly electric bill.
There are two main benefits of using standalone battery energy storage: energy bill savings and backup power.
Electricity rates can vary considerably depending on the time of year and day. In Massachusetts, utilities utilize on-peak and off-peak hours, which vary by season. During on-peak hours, rates are higher than they are during off-peak hours. This means you pay more for the electricity you use when demand is high.
You can avoid on-peak rates by installing battery storage. Your battery can draw power from the grid during off-peak hours and store it. Then, you can switch your home to battery power during on-peak hours to avoid higher rates. Smart technologies can automate this process for easy optimization.
Standalone batteries can disconnect from the grid during an outage and provide backup power to your home. When there’s extreme weather on the forecast and a grid outage looks likely, you can charge your batteries in advance. If the power goes out, you’ll have a backup source ready to go that you can use to keep essentials running.
The benefits of standalone battery storage go beyond individual use. Standalone energy storage benefits entire communities by taking pressure off the electric grid during peak demand times. This helps stabilize the grid and makes electricity access more reliable for everyone.
Because of their widespread benefits, standalone batteries qualify for the 30% Inflation Reduction Act solar tax credit. With the tax credit, you can reduce your federal income tax liability by 30% of your battery installation costs, making it easier and more affordable to install battery storage.
Learn more about the federal solar tax credit.
If you want greater energy independence, lower energy bills, and protection against power outages, battery energy storage is a great solution. Boston Solar installs premium batteries from leading brands, and we can help you find the right energy storage option for your home. We are the #1 Massachusetts-based solar installer with over 10 years of experience installing renewable energy systems.