When SolarCity and Tesla last month announced they were teaming up to offer battery backup for residential solar PV systems, they generated much excitement … and a disproportionate amount of press. From Greentech Media to the New York Times, stories abound about how the union of these two companies heralds the next stage in the evolution of distributed energy resources.
Yet solar-plus-storage has actually been around for decades. In fact, it was what kickstarted the solar industry in the early 1980s. A bunch of marijuana “farmers” in northern California who weren’t connected to the grid needed a way to get electric lights for their grow operations. A young hippie stumbled upon an ARCO solar panel at a consumer electronics show, and soon after founded AEE Solar and started powering off-grid homes with solar panels and car batteries, and his customers always paid in cash.
…read more via Batteries to Bolster Solar.