Evaluating the potential for solar-plus-storage backup power in the United States as homes integrate efficient, flexible, and electrified energy technologies

Publication Type

Journal Article

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Adoption of residential behind-the-meter solar photovoltaic-plus-storage systems (PVESS) is driven, in part, by customer demand for backup power. However, there is limited understanding of how these systems perform over a range of building stock conditions that will evolve with future efficiency and electrification trends, posing challenges for identifying optimal electric resiliency investments. This study quantifies how residential energy consumption impacts the capability of PVESS to provide home backup power during long-duration power interruptions. We model statistically representative distributions of the residential building stock and estimate storage sizes required to provide backup power as a series of building envelope efficiency, load flexibility, and electrification measures are applied. For the baseline building stock, median storage size requirements range from 10 kWh in temperate weather conditions to 90 kWh in hot climates for a 3-day power interruption. Applying energy efficiency and temperature set-point adjustments reduce storage size requirements by 2–45 kWh (16%–53 %). In hot locations, heat pump retrofits reduce median storage sizing by an additional 10–30 kWh while in cold locations, they drive 10–50 kWh of storage capacity increase. Our results suggest that bi-directional EV charging may be essential to enabling PVESS backup of heating and cooling, given their typically large kWh sizes.





Year of Publication




This open-access journal article published in Energy can be downloaded hereThis article is based, in part, on a previous LBNL report found here.


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