Solar Industry News

How Maine Battery Storage Owners Can Support the Grid and Earn Rewards

Homeowners in Maine are familiar with power outages: we have one of the most vulnerable grids in the country. The most recent winter storm left 50% of Central Maine Power customers in the dark. More than ever, the value of reliable energy sources is apparent. While solar energy is dependable (the sun will continue shining for the next five billion years), homeowners with solar arrays will still find themselves without power in the occurrence of an outage. This is to protect line workers from dangerous reverse currents. So how do you keep your solar working when the grid is down?  

Battery backup systems

These systems store energy generated by a solar array, allowing homeowners to continue using their solar-produced electricity even during a power outage, keeping the lights on. ReVision installs two of the most popular and dependable battery storage units on the market, the Tesla Powerwall and SolarEdge Home. Now, there is further incentive to invest in battery backup for Mainers looking to bring energy resilience to their home and community.  

Montville-2 (1).jpgRecognizing the importance of home battery storage, Efficiency Maine, an organization created to design and execute energy efficiency programs, recently rolled out the Small Battery Demand Management Program. Homeowners participating in the program can share their battery's stored energy during high-demand periods, helping prevent blackouts. On top of providing community support, the program lets participants earn around $300 per year.  


Program Summary: 
  • Register your battery to support the grid during high demand and earn hundreds of dollars.   
Demand Events: 
  • These will occur 40-60 times between June 1st and September 30th (there will be no events during severe outages). 
  • Sign up quickly through Tesla's mobile app or Efficiency Maine's web form (non-Tesla batteries are also eligible). You can opt in or out of events as you prefer.  
  • Earn $100 per kW of average discharge, paid through Tesla's app or Efficiency Maine’s website in December.    

Sound interesting? Here's a more in-depth breakdown of the program.    


What is the Small Battery Demand Management Program?

3 Tesla Powerwalls deer isle.jpgEfficiency Maine's program compensates eligible battery owners for helping reduce the strain on the New England electric grid during times of high demand, called demand response events. These events will occur about 40 to 60 times between June 1st and September 30th, each lasting no more than three hours.

Participants will earn payment depending on the amount discharged from their battery during the events. Efficiency Maine will notify participants at least four hours before an event. Once enrolled, the only action required is to maintain a Wi-Fi connection to your battery during events; no further steps are necessary. 

When you discharge electricity from your Powerwall during peak demand grid conditions, it helps balance the overall stress on the grid. By entering the program, your battery will discharge up to 85% of its stored energy during these high-demand events. If you own a Powerwall, remember that Tesla's warranty covers unlimited cycles, so the additional cycles from this program won't affect their system's warranty.    

How do I enroll?   

Eligible participants can enroll through the Tesla app or Efficiency Maine's website. If you’re a Powerwall owner already enrolled through the website, you will be able to access the Virtual Power Plant section of the Tesla app when your enrollment is processed through Tesla. This process should take one to two weeks.  

If you own a different type of battery backup system, like Generac, Enphase, or SolarEdge, you can also enroll through Efficiency Maine’s website. Tesla strongly recommends Powerwall customers enroll through the app to simplify and expedite the process. Efficiency Maine recently released a Small Battery Incentive Calculator, where users can input their exact information to get a better understanding of their potential earnings. 

What are the benefits of participating?   

Grid Support:

Contribute to a more stable and sustainable energy system in Maine, reducing the need for expensive and polluting "peaker" power plants.   

Financial Incentives:

Receive $100 per kW of average discharge during demand response events, paid annually through Tesla's app or Efficiency Maine's website in December. Participating in these events will earn you around $300 a year, depending on how many events you participate in.   

Easy Management:

Participation can be easily managed through your Tesla app, allowing you to opt in or out of specific events. You set your backup reserve in the app so you can decide how much of your battery to share for each event. You can even change your backup reserve during an event and opt-out if needed. Just remember that any adjustments will affect your total payment since the incentive is based on the average total kW discharged during the whole program. (One quick caveat is that when enrolling through Tesla's app, they will ask you for an account ID or number. They're referring to your utility account number.)   

How does this program benefit my community?   

Participating in programs like this with multiple homes equipped with solar and batteries helps create a "virtual power plant," stabilizing the grid and making it more resilient against outages while reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

tesla-reveal-2.jpgThrough Tesla's app, you'll see how much power your system is sending to the grid and the collective contribution of all participating homes in Maine. Enhancing the grid's strength benefits all Mainers and is a step toward a cleaner energy future.   

By supplying your stored energy to the grid during times of high demand, you reduce the need for the grid to draw additional power from other sources, which can be more expensive and less efficient. Supplying stored energy from your Powerwall also reduces the need for costly and polluting power plants and delays the construction of expensive power lines – the cost of which is typically transferred to consumers' electricity bills. Ultimately this program is designed to save all ratepayers money and prevent grid-wide outages.   

This program lets battery storage owners in Maine make money year over year throughout the lifetime of their Powerwall. As we navigate the challenges of the current storm, think of the broader impact your Tesla Powerwall can have. Beyond ensuring energy independence for your home, you're empowering the community with a more robust, greener grid. Join the movement and make a positive difference for your community.