DENVER — The Stapleton neighborhood in Denver has the largest concentration of personal solar in the city. That’s why Xcel Energy is using the neighborhood to figure out how to store solar energy in banks of batteries.
“I love sunny days which is why I’m in Colorado!” said Stapleton resident and solar panel consumer Dan Khadem.
Khadem was shocked to find out how financially practical it was to use those sunny days to power his home.
“We moved in last June and we saw all of our neighbors getting solar so we decided that maybe we should look into [it],” said Khadem.
The solar panels on his roof will power his home for at least the next two decades.
“We’re still hooked up to the grid. So on the months where it’s gray and we don’t get as much sun we receive power from Xcel. And in the summer months when it’s bright and we’re getting a lot of sun we sell our energy back to Xcel,” said Khadem.
Solar energy is an investment, and most people pay for the solar panels monthly over 10 to 20 years.
Right now, Xcel is installing six huge storage batteries across Stapleton to figure out how they can take energy from those solar panels on sunny days and save it for peak demand times.
If their plan works, Xcel will keep the energy in Stapleton and will spend less money pumping electricity across power lines into the neighborhood.
Xcel is spending $4 million to see if this will work, and if it does power companies across the country hope to duplicate it.