South Carolina’s mild winters and sunny summers have made it a hotspot for solar energy. As an increasing number of homeowners make the switch, many turn their attention towards solar batteries.
How much does battery storage installation cost in South Carolina? Is it worth the extra investment?
Let’s take a look at all things related to battery storage installation costs – including choosing the best battery, battery types, and more.
But first, let’s start with the reason you’re here. Let’s break down the cost of battery storage for the average South Carolina resident, so you can decide if solar batteries are right for you.
Solar Battery Installation Costs in South Carolina
When you’re trying to decide whether to install a solar battery with your PV system – it’s important to figure in the cost. When it comes to solar batteries, you can think of the price as a gross price or a price per relative capacity (i.e., cost per kWh).
The cost of solar batteries ranges in price from $5,000 up to $7,000 or more. If you’re looking at price per relative capacity, the average costs range from $400 per kilowatt-hour up to $750 per kilowatt-hour. Of course, these are just averages. Plus, they only include the battery cost – not the cost of installation.
What does the cost of installation look like? If you figure installation into the total price, expect to pay between $11,000 to $18,000 on average. Or, if you’re looking at cost per relative capacity, $800 per kWh to $1,300 per kWh.
Again, these figures are averages. The battery and installation’s actual total will depend significantly on the battery’s materials, manufacturer, power, and more. We’ll cover all of these things at length in a minute. For now, keep in mind that battery storage installation costs in South Carolina depend a lot on your specific system and needs.
For instance, a battery for a home that’s tied to the grid will cost significantly less than a battery for a home that’s off-the-grid. Likewise, unless your battery has an inverter built into it, you’ll also require an additional inverter, which can increase the price, too.
However, experts predict that the prices of solar batteries in South Carolina will continue to drop. Additionally, you might even be able to use some of the South Carolina solar rebates towards the purchase of your battery if you install it at the same time you do your system.
For a frame of reference, let’s look at two of the most popular solar batteries on the market to get a gauge on price.
- The Tesla Powerwall is a 13.5 kWh battery that lists for $6,500. After the additional fees, you’ll be looking at paying around $11,000 for a Tesla Powerwall.
- LG Chem’s RESU battery is 9.3 kWh and is usually priced between $6,000-$7,000. Once you add in the inverter and installation, you’re looking at paying closer to $11,000 to $13,000.
Now, you might be thinking, can I just cut the price and install a solar battery myself? The answer is usually no. This is because batteries need a particular type of inverter, which allows electricity to flow to and from the battery. This type of installation requires an electrician and a specialized skillset.
In other words, the installation costs are fair and based on the safety and training required to install solar batteries and inverters safely.
So, is it worth it for you?
Is It Worth It to Install a Solar Battery in South Carolina?
The primary reason people install solar batteries is that it allows them to store and use the extra electricity their solar system generates. In a standard system, your panels generate electricity, and if you have anything leftover, it’s sent back to the grid (a.k.a. the power company).
In grid-tied systems, you can pull extra electricity when you need it because everyone’s generated solar power flows to and from the grid. However, some people want to be able to store and use their excess energy instead.
This is where solar batteries come in. If you’re a South Carolina resident who wants to save the most money on electricity, then a solar battery might make sense. Instead of having to pull electricity from the grid during peak hours, you can draw from the extra energy in your battery.
It’s also useful for power outages. If the power goes out, you can use all that extra energy you stored, rather than having to depend on the utility company to get you back up and running. Which, as we know, after Hurricane Dorian, can be incredibly helpful.
Also, if you’re interested in going off-the-grid and not depending on the utility company at all, you’re going to need a solar battery. But is it worth it long-term?
Well, that depends. If your utility company has time-of-use rates and demand charges, then a solar battery might be worth its cost. Here’s why.
If your utility charges based on the time you use the electricity, then the chances are that you’re paying much higher rates during peak hours. Energy storage via solar battery allows you to avoid time-of-use price hikes and switch to battery power during peak hours.
Demand charges require you to pay a fee based on how much electricity to use and buy during peak hours. Installing a battery allows you to minimize these extra demand charges, so you don’t have to pay to pull electricity from the grid.
Obviously, these aren’t the only reasons to consider energy storage installation in South Carolina, but they’re good signs that doing so might be a worthy investment for you.
If you’re still curious about the cost of battery storage installation, keep reading to learn more about the different battery types and materials that can affect the overall price.
Considerations When Shopping for a Solar Battery
Many things can impact a solar battery’s price and quality, so they’re things you want to know a thing or two about. Let’s look at all these things, so you can better understand how solar batteries are priced.
DoD (Depth of Discharge)
Almost all solar batteries will need some charge to maintain their quality and lifespan. Basically, you can’t run the battery down to zero percent because it needs some of the power to run. The DoD is the amount of charge a battery has to maintain to keep up its optimum performance.
Power & Capacity
A battery’s power is how much energy the battery can deliver. A battery’s capacity is how many kilowatt-hours a battery can contain and hold. A solar battery with high power but low capacity could power up your entire house, but it might only be able to do so for a few hours. A solar battery with low power and high capacity, on the other hand, might only keep a few appliances running, but it can do so for long periods. The power and capacity you need will depend on your overall goals.
This term relates to the amount of energy you can use versus the amount of stored energy. Basically, all solar batteries require some of their power to store the electricity. You want to make sure that a solar battery doesn’t use too much of it in storage. Round trip efficiency is notated via a percentage. For instance, if your solar battery got 10 kWh of electricity, but it could only give you 7 kWh in usable electricity, its round-trip efficiency would be 70%. This means that the other 30% of that electricity is going towards storing the electricity.
Battery Life & Warranty
This one is pretty obvious. However, when shopping for solar batteries, the battery’s life and its warranty can significantly impact the overall quality and price. So, don’t overlook these criteria or how they affect the end price of the battery.
Manufacturers also play a role in price and quality. Well-known, established manufacturers will charge more for their batteries than the unknown and untested brands. This doesn’t always mean the battery is better. However, as with any other product, the manufacturer and brand will impact the battery’s final ticket price.
Aside from these five things, the only other things that impact price are the type of battery and the installer’s quality.
The Other Factors: Solar Battery Types and Quality
There are numerous types of solar batteries available. The right one for your system depends on multiple factors, but the four primary battery types are:
- Lithium-Ion Solar Batteries
- Lead-Acid Solar Batteries
- Nickel-Based Solar Batteries
- Flow Solar Batteries
For a residential solar system in South Carolina, you’ll likely only be looking at Lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries because the other two types are really expensive. Lead-acid is the cheapest option, but it’s also the bulkiest. Lithium-ion is a top choice for solar batteries.
Aside from battery criteria and type, the quality of the installer is the other significant factor that contributes to the price. Higher quality, certified installers are going to charge more than unqualified installers. So, if you want the best work, expect to pay a bit more in installation fees.
If you were curious about how much battery storage installation costs in South Carolina – now you know! With installation included, expect to pay between $11K and $18K for battery storage in addition to your solar installation costs in South Carolina.
Related article: What Does Solar Panel Installation Costs in South Carolina?
Things like the DoD, capacity, power, battery life, warranty, round-trip efficiency, and the manufacturer can contribute to the final cost. The type of battery and the quality of the installer can impact it as well.
If you want to save on time-of-use charges, get rid of demand charges, be okay in power outages, or break-up with your utility company – then solar batteries might be a worthy investment.
Ultimately, only you can decide whether battery storage installation makes sense for you.