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New controls, new values and new layers of functionality

Home storage systems have been considered an ‘early adopter’ market in many parts of the world, perhaps more important as a way that individuals can control their own green energy use and save energy than as a means of generating big money returns.

However, the addition of smart control and monitoring systems and the ability to aggregate large numbers of connected solar-plus-storage systems means that for solutions and equipment providers like Israel-headquartered SolarEdge, prolific supplier to markets including the US, UK and Australia, there is a new economic paradigm emerging.

Lior Handelsman, one of the smart energy company’s founders and Vice President for marketing and product strategy, spoke with Energy-Storage.news at last week’s Intersolar Europe/ees Europe trade show for an on-camera interview.

Handelsman says that while he would not describe this year’s wave of new technologies at the exhibition as a “next generation” of storage systems as such, the market is now demanding that systems offer greater levels of functionality, control and monitoring, essentially “additional software and analytic layers that provide a more mature level of control for storage”.

We also discussed how these additional layers can add new economic value for home PV systems, benefiting the householder, but also, crucially, utilities and grid networks.

“People now understand that there is more value in a solar-plus-storage system like this than just managing your home energy. If you’re a utility company and you have thousands of solar systems in an area you can use them to defer investing in the grid, to defer from buying expensive energy from peakers and power stations. You just need a technological solution for that. The utility cannot be expected to control 10,000 systems, calculate and solve how much energy to take from each one of them to keep the balance and then dispatch them,” says Handelsman.

“It’s not at mass scale but we are starting to see these solutions. Instead of investing heavily in grid, the utility can do it cheaper with storage, PV and aggregation capabilities.”  

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