December 14, 2016 / 2:02 PM / 7 months ago

Sunrun expands home battery storage to California

2 Min Read

Dec 14 (Reuters) - U.S. solar company Sunrun Inc on Wednesday said it was expanding its home battery storage offering to homeowners in California after enjoying better-than-expected demand for the product in Hawaii.

With a solar energy system combined with storage, a product Sunrun called BrightBox, homeowners will be able to store some of the electricity generated by their solar panels in the middle of the day for use after the sun goes down, when power prices from the grid are higher.

The battery will keep 20 percent of its charge at all times for backup power in the event of an outage.

The battery system can be wrapped in to the monthly rate customers pay Sunrun for their solar system, requiring no money down, Sunrun said.

California, the nation's top solar market, is in the midst of overhauling its electricity rate structures. Customers are moving to so-called time-of-use rates, which will likely make electricity prices higher later in the day when the state's large amounts of solar generation begins to trail off.

The company's research suggests the product will appeal to about 15 to 20 percent of customers, Sunrun Chief Executive Lynn Jurich said in an interview. (Reporting by Nichola Groom; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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