The Marriage Between Smart Homes & Solar Begins

Microgrids are still an emerging grid architecture - we are still years out from mass adoption. (Image: Giorgio Trivato)

Microgrids are an emerging grid architecture as we are learning day by day. More utilities are beginning to see the advantages of having such an architecture available for them to load balance and deliver a higher level of resilience to their customers than ever before.

Southern Company’s subsidiary Mississippi Power is currently piloting “smart neighborhoods” where Tesla Solar Roofs and Powerwalls are being married with smart home tech in order to see what advantages can come from this setup.

Why does it matter?

  • With appliances and smart home tech becoming nearly ubiquitous and solar deployments becoming more common to come by – it is likely we will see the communication between these devices happen. It’s a matter of time
  • Smart home tech can help dynamically reduce or increase loads based on production schedules – we already see this with companies like OhmConnect with demand response and Autogrid with grid wide load management
  • The addition of batteries will allow for intelligent sizing and load shaping to be taken advantage of by utilities and homeowners the like

What’s next?

  • We likely will see the coming of new business models in the energy space as a whole. Enabling the homeowner to participate and see potential revenues from installing solar, software and batteries.
  • Utilities will likely own and finance residential microgrids creating ways to deepen their understand energy usage down to a plug level
  • Smart home tech, AI, solar and storage are all timing the market perfectly – yielding a huge opportunity for the tech world to enter in and help drive microgrids into the market.

Thoughts

Mississippi Power is one of many likely going to push forward on microgrid research – seeing companies like Tesla pushing hard on Virtual Power Plants enabled by their batteries and solar systems will likely show a growth into smart home tech being connected to the electric grid as well. Monitoring the success of these pilots will enable great growth to the microgrid world.

About The Author

Swarnav S Pujari

Swarnav S Pujari

Founder of The Impact

Swarnav has over 10 years of experience in the energy & climate tech space, holds 2 patents and is active in the tech, climate and media industries. He specializes in Product/Product Innovation as well as Go-To-Market and Growth Strategy.

By training he’s a Materials Engineer with a background in research from his time at Georgia Tech and University of Illinois (UIUC).

He founded TouchLight a utility backed energy company focused on developing IP for utilities and startups pushing electrification forward. He also serves as the appointed Chairman for the Town of Yorktown’s Climate Smart Communities Task Force, where he helps with drafting legislation and enabling sustainability efforts within the town.

Concurrently, Swarnav founded The Impact to help investors, emerging founders and driven climate enthusiasts discover and identify new climate-tech startups, technologies and opportunities before they hit the traditional media sources.

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