The addition of the battery to SolarCity's "turnkey" system takes residential solar to a new level, which will require less help from homeowners from the traditional grid. The battery allows for further use of solar energy throughout the night and during peak use hours in the morning before solar capacity reaches its optimal hour. This takes more of the burden off the grid and offers additional incentives for homeowners to invest in personal solar with quicker payback periods and even lower electricity bills. The batteries also eliminate the need for generators as a backup power source, removing gas from the off-grid home equation.
The SolarCity gigafactory on its way for upstate New York will bring down the cost to make some of the materials for each turnkey system. The Tesla gigafactory planned for Nevada will also work with SolarCity to make the batteries cheaper. The advantage is not only on the homeowner, but also less burden on the overall grid. These microgrids specific to each home are additional source of power in disasters, improving community resilience.
Read more about the plan to bring home batteries across the country on TreeHugger.