How Solar Panels and Batteries Protect from Rolling Blackouts

If you're a resident of Utah, Idaho, Nevada or many of the other neighboring states, the combination of summer wildfires, high winds and several other factors might mean your area is dealing with what are known as rolling power blackouts. These involve situations where power is intentionally shut off to an area, and while they might be necessary given the needs of the power grid, they certainly aren't convenient for home and business owners.

At Intermountain Wind & Solar, we're here to help in several ways. Our residential solar power services include the use of the Tesla Powerwall battery backup, which not only offers fantastic power capabilities that will reduce your dependency on the local power grid (and also your bill, in most cases), but also helps home and building owners alike avoid the risks of rolling blackouts during any part of the year. What are rolling blackouts, and how does a good solar panel system and battery backup prevent them from impacting you? Here's a primer.

What Are Rolling Power Blackouts?

Rolling blackouts are a variation of power interruptions where outages are deliberately initiated in order to maintain the stability of the electrical grid. These power outages could be triggered by local events that lead to reduced electricity production, disruptions from weather patterns, or even the need to protect nearby residents and businesses as a side effect of some other undertaking.

Power grids operate at maximum efficiency when electricity demands are matched with available production -- but in certain situations, it is necessary for rolling blackouts to be put into place so that high-demand areas can have their energy needs met first without causing damage or instability in neighboring areas. These rolling power outages typically last for very short periods of time -- usually less than an hour -- but they can present complications in some areas with heavy electricity demands.

However, if you have a robust solar panel system installed -- one that also features a quality battery backup -- you will not have to deal with these outages, even for a short period of time. Our next few sections will go over why.

How Solar Power Eliminates Rolling Blackout Outages

When you have a full solar power system setup, including your battery backup, the issues that arise during a rolling power blackout will not impact you. This is because your battery will store significant amounts of unused energy in it throughout daily operations -- and if a blackout to the normal grid occurs, your system can simply draw from this supply of excess power for all your home or building needs. Not only does this mean that you will still have power during a rolling blackout, but it also means that the amount of energy you draw from the standard grid at night or on overcast days will be significantly lower than normal.

This, in turn, lowers your total bill from the local utility company, as less energy is being consumed through their infrastructure system -- and you can also rest easy knowing that your energy needs are being met during emergencies, even if the local power grid is not available to provide it for you.

Why Solar Battery Backups Are Superior to Generators

Some also use generators for a similar purpose here: To provide power in situations where the main power grid has gone down, including during a rolling blackout. However, generators lag behind solar power batteries in several areas, including cost, noise, size and even their impact on the environment.

More to the point, solar backups work to your benefit even when there's no power outage in your area. Instead of needing to be refueled for long periods of time in order to create a limited supply of power, the battery backup portion of your solar panel system simply absorbs power when it is available -- and then provides that excess energy later. This means that even on cloudy days or during times when your household energy demands are lower, you can still benefit from the performance of the backup battery.

And of course, that's without even getting into the environmental benefits you're creating by relying on a battery backup instead of a generator. Solar power is a renewable form of energy that limits greenhouse gasses and slows the effect of climate change -- which, in turn, may help reduce some of the major weather events we've seen in recent years, some of which are actually the causes of the rolling power outages we're referring to here in the first place.

How a Tesla Battery Backup Functions in a Solar System Setup

Tesla's Powerwall battery backup device includes both an internal battery system and several different types of input connectors, which allow it to be used with a variety of different solar panel setups. These include designs which utilize an inverter, or those that use the Powerwall's built-in inverter instead, for example.

If you're looking to perform an installation of one of our systems, a technician will visit your home and evaluate its qualities, while also speaking to you about your power needs and typical monthly consumption. From here, we'll create a customized setup that will fill all your power needs and remove your dependency on the local power grid -- and we'll also install the Powerwall system to provide you with a constant battery backup that will serve you in the case of any rolling blackout or other outage issue.

For more on how solar power helps you conquer rolling blackouts, or to learn about any of our solar panel installation or other services, speak to the staff at Intermountain Wind & Solar today.

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