At Standard Energy Solutions, we take pride in bringing custom solar energy solutions to homeowners throughout Maryland and the DC area. We recently had the opportunity to help one discerning homeowner in Anne Arundel County go solar in a way that completely reduced their reliance on the BGE utility grid.

A Desire for Complete Energy Independence

The owner of this new home in Odenton, Maryland, Randy Bowman, came to us after hearing about our experience with solar and battery storage. He had recently helped his parents go solar and knew what to consider in a new solar energy system. He had also done extensive research on energy storage and wanted a Sonnen storage system, as Sonnen batteries are known for their resilience and durability. Battery storage would protect him and his family from the inconvenient outages they had been experiencing and give them the freedom to charge their hybrid vehicles even during an outage.

As a certified Sonnen partner, we had exactly the expertise Randy was looking for. When we met with Randy, we discussed his goals for his new, solar-powered home. Ultimately, we outlined a few goals for the new solar photovoltaic (PV) system:

  • Home power with non carbon based energy

  • Reduced reliance on the power grid

  • Greater control over energy generation & usage

  • Peace of mind during a power outage

Designing the Right Solar Electric System

In order to design the right system for this three-bedroom single family home, we gathered some information about the house and its energy usage. Randy’s family had three plug-in hybrid cars and was using an average of 14,500 kWh of electricity per year. After assessing the roof, we found that that would be the ideal place to install solar panels.

Ultimately, we designed and installed an 11 kW rooftop system complete with:

  • Silfab 310 solar panels

  • Sonnen eco 10 energy storage system

  • Two level 2 electric vehicle (EV) chargers

  • Enphase inverters

  • Enphase Enlighten monitoring system

The Sonnen battery delivers 10 kWh of power per charge cycle for dependable power, and the innovative Enphase Enlighten monitoring system makes for easy energy monitoring.

Benefits of Clean Energy for Years to Come

This system was the first solar plus storage system to be installed in Anne Arundel County and the first Sonnen system to be installed in the BGE service territory. It now provides Randy’s family with 100% of their electricity needs, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year! It also offers valuable benefits like:

Access to clean & renewable energy

Between the electricity generated by the solar panels and the power stored in the Sonnen eco 10, this home runs on entirely clean and renewable energy day and night. The near off-grid system allows Randy’s family to use their own cleanly generated energy first before pulling carbon based electricity from the local utility.

Uninterrupted power without the need for net metering

Most solar energy systems are “grid-tied” and send excess electricity generated during the day back into the power grid, turning the meter in reverse. This is called net metering, and it is currently state law for utility companies in Maryland to allow it. However, some states such as Hawaii and Nevada are already eliminating net metering programs.

Because this solar PV system is coupled with energy storage, Randy and his family are better protected in the event that net metering programs end in the state of Maryland (which is unlikely but still possible). They will only have to pull from the grid (and therefore pay for power) when their solar and storage systems do not provide enough power.

Protection against rising electricity rates & benefit from time-of-use tariffs

This solar plus storage system will also protect Randy and his family against rising electricity rates and benefit from time of use (TOU) tariffs.  The cost of solar is fixed and the energy source is free, so long term, a solar kilowatt will cost the Bowman’s much less than power supplied & delivered from BGE.   We see states like California, Arizona, and Virginia structure electricity rates based on time of use and demand, where homeowners pay more for electricity used during peak hours. Maryland’s Public Service Commission (MD PSC) recently announced a pilot program with TOU rates for residential customers.   Homeowners like Randy will benefit from TOU rates as solar plus storage will enable him to manage his power to purchase from the utility, if needed, only during off peak hours and therefore significantly lower their price per kWh. Peace of mind in the event of a power outage

This new system also provides peace of mind in the event of a power outage. Should a storm or manmade disaster knockout utility power, the solar system will continue to provide electricity to the home’s protected loads, including the sump pump, security system, internet, TV, appliances, and lights.

Game Changing Technology for a Clean Energy Future

Randy says of his new system, “It’s very impressive, even on cloudy days, how much power we generate.” He and his family are taking advantage of the system’s high daytime energy production and programming their appliances to run during the day. For them, this is not only more convenient but also more affordable because many utility companies are starting to charge higher rates for energy use during the day.

We’re proud to have designed and installed a solar plus storage system that grants this family greater control over their energy usage behind the meter. This game changing technology benefits not only the homeowner but also the utility, the state, and our nation’s effort toward building a clean and sustainable energy future. We’re looking forward to completing more innovative solar projects like this one!

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