SRP rebate stirring up interest in battery storage systems

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More solar power customers will soon likely use solar battery systems to store excess energy thanks to a new rebate from SRP. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) More solar power customers will soon likely use solar battery systems to store excess energy thanks to a new rebate from SRP. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
After the rebate, the system is still expensive - at least $20,000 for panels, and another $9,000 for the battery. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) After the rebate, the system is still expensive - at least $20,000 for panels, and another $9,000 for the battery. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
"We're seeing those savings make a payback term between five and eight years, usually," one homeowner said. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) "We're seeing those savings make a payback term between five and eight years, usually," one homeowner said. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

People who generate solar power can use solar battery systems to store excess energy, but few people in Arizona actually do. That could change with a new rebate from Salt River Project (SRP).

When the sun is shining, solar customers generate their own power. When it's not, they have to go back on the grid. That's where these battery storage systems come in.

"When you come home and you turn on the A/C, and you turn on your stove, and you're using more energy, that battery can come in and provide you with that energy," said Patty Garcia-Likens with SRP.

She said so far, 240 of their customers have them installed. That number is going to climb, thanks to a new rebate, up to $1,800 for the first 4,500 customers. It's part of a settlement with SolarCity, which sued SRP for charging solar customers new fees.

[Related: SolarCity sues SRP over new fee for rooftop solar customers]

"As more people invest in this battery technology, how can that help us meet those peak demands?" Garcia-Likens said.

"It's been amazing," said Joe Cunningham with Sunny Energy LLC.

He said this is sparking about five times the interest of usual programs. After the rebate, the system is still expensive - at least $20,000 for panels, and another $9,000 for the battery. But Cunningham said you'll get it back.

"We're seeing those savings make a payback term between five and eight years, usually," Cunningham said.

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Lindsey ReiserLindsey Reiser is a Scottsdale native and an award-winning multimedia journalist.

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Lindsey Reiser

Lindsey returned to the Valley in 2010 after covering border and immigration issues in El Paso, TX. While in El Paso she investigated public corruption, uncovered poor business practices, and routinely reported on the violence across the border.

Lindsey feels honored to have several awards under her belt, including a Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award, Hearst Journalist Award, and several National Broadcast Education Association Awards.

Lindsey is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, and she currently serves as a mentor to journalism students. She studied for a semester in Alicante, Spain and also earned a degree in Spanish at ASU.

She is proud to serve as a member of United Blood Services’ Community Leadership Council, a volunteer advisory board for the UBS of Arizona.

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