In 2017, the City of Atlanta enacted legislation to power municipal buildings and facilities using 100 percent clean electricity by 2025, and over the next decade the entire city is expected to run on clean energy. This commitment presents a boon for one of the state’s leading clean energy sources — solar power.
With a veritable unlimited supply, solar is one of the cleanest energy sources available and unlike fossil fuels, is renewable.
During the mid-day, solar energy production peaks, although we consume the most energy in the mornings and evenings. While solar energy generated can be redistributed back into the grid, it’s also possible for that energy to be saved for when it’s needed most.
Consumers are increasingly adopting residential solar storage options, as over the last five years, the cost of solar panels fell 53 percent. In addition, the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit is an enticing incentive to install a system. The growth potential for U.S. energy storage is huge, and companies like sonnen have entered the market with cutting-edge technologies that provide homeowners a smart energy alternative.
Engineered in Germany and manufactured in America, sonnen’s goal is to realize a world where everyone is able to cover their energy needs with “decentralized and intelligent” clean energy systems that generate and store energy locally. The company recently opened an InnovationHub in Tucker, Ga., unifying its manufacturing and research and development teams under one roof.
In addition to its solar storage products, sonnen is working to bring its proprietary concept, sonnenCommunity, to the U.S. Already activated throughout Germany, the sonnenCommunity is made up a group of sonnen owners who share their solar energy with other members. Because sonnenCommunity members are using energy exclusively among themselves, they don’t rely on conventional energy providers.
“Sonnen is very proud of the sonnenCommunity concept – an idea of a new type of energy community that benefits all,” said Olaf Lohr, sonnen’s manager of utility relations. “To turn the amazing concept into reality, we are working with local and national new home builders and developers, and are pulling in utilities and solar installation partners.”
Lohr said that in order to deploy the forward-thinking sonnenCommunities concept stateside, the company needs buy-in from all stakeholders.
“The very advanced negotiations in many U.S. regions give [sonnen] great confidence, a solid business pipeline, and many communities a real-world tool to achieve their carbon emission reduction goals,” he said. “We hope that we can launch a sonnenCommunity in the greater Atlanta area very soon.”
Sonnen’s mission to achieve clean, reliable, and affordable energy for all extends to communities in need. In the wake of Hurricane Maria, sonnen worked with Puerto Rican solar installer Pura Energia to forge a deeper connection and bring significant help to the island, whose power grid was devastated in the storm.
Across Puerto Rico, sonnen and Pura Energia have installed microgrids at community and relief centers, laundromats, food distribution centers, and most recently, at a K-9 school in the remote mountain town of Orocovis. The school, S.U. Matrullas, received two sonnenBatterie storage units, paired with a 15kW rooftop solar system that brought its 150 students back online and ready to learn.
Increasing consumer demand for clean power paired with technological advancement presents a bright future for solar in Georgia and beyond. By partnering with local, certified installation experts, sonnen aims to bring homeowners the best benefits for their energy goals. To meet sonnen and other organizations leading Georgia’s charge into solar, register for the June 1 Sustainable Atlanta Roundtable. For event details and registration, click here.