The program intends to create a giant backup battery for the state, which CleanTechnica described as, “what is effectively a giant distributed battery during times of peak use or emergency blackouts.”
Officials in Texas are hoping that utilizing existing solar panels on peoples’ homes to provide backup power can provide a similar safeguard for their state.
In 2021, Texas faced a devastating and deadly blackout after its power grid was unable to contend with a winter storm. However, Texans with solar panels and home energy storage batteries such as Powerwalls were able to keep their lights on during the blackout.
Now, not only can those residents be assured of keeping the lights on for themselves, but they can also help to keep the lights on for other Texans and make some extra money in the process.
“Small energy resources found in homes and businesses across Texas have incredible potential to continue improving grid reliability and resiliency by selling the excess power they generate to the [Electric Reliability Council of Texas] system,” Texas public utility commissioner Will McAdams told Clean Technica. “It’s a win-win for Texas. Home and business owners get paid for power they supply, and consumers in ERCOT get more reliability.”
Now, as long as Texas legislators continue to be rebuffed in their efforts to limit residents’ ability to install solar panels out of fealty to the dirty energy-reliant power companies, the program should hopefully be a success.
Commenters on CleanTechnica were excited about the idea but also concerned with the extent to which some Texas lawmakers oppose clean energy initiatives.
“It’s a ‘win-win’ until the power utilities tell the purchased legislature to stop it,” wrote one commenter.
“The point is resilience: not having single points of failure, which utility scale power plants unavoidably are (whatever the power source). Very important as our weather gets wilder and wilder,” wrote another.
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