Energy storage is making it possible for commercial establishments to lower their total utility bills while having the ability to continue operating during a power outage. REC Solar and Green Charge have partnered to create a 1 megawatt solar and energy storage system for  SOMO Village in Rohnert Park, Calif. The combined solar-plus-storage system is expected to deliver more than $160,000 savings to SOMO Village in the first year and more than $1.8 million in savings during the first 10 years of operation.

SOMO Village is a 600,000 square foot mixed use development. All together, about 1,000 people are employed by the fifty businesses located inside the Village. The property uses almost six megawatts of electricity annually. Its existing array of rooftop solar panels have recently been expanded to a total of 16,000 panels, making it the largest solar plus storage facility in Sonoma County.

“SOMO Village is a leader in renewable energy adoption,” says Alan Russo, senior vice president of sales and marketing at REC Solar. “We are proud to be their energy partner and to work alongside the Green Charge team to maximize the impact of their solar investment.”

REC focuses exclusively on commercial installations and is and backed by Duke Energy. It has a portfolio of 550 successful solar projects over the past 19 years. Its business model specializes in systems that immediately begin paying dividends through reduced energy costs.

In business since 2009, Green Charge is backed by ENGIE, the largest independent power producer in the world.  With its team of top energy storage industry experts, it shows its customers how to combine energy storage and renewables easily and economically.

With solar-plus-storage, businesses can consume all the solar power they produce rather than feeding it back into the grid. That helps to reduce or eliminate electricity usage during periods of high demand when utility charges are the highest.

“Solar PV has long been seen as an environmentally responsible energy choice, but many companies now deploy solar with energy storage because it is also a smart business choice,” said Vic Shao, CEO of Green Charge. “With a combined solar and storage system the potential savings and return on investment can be much greater than each can provide on a standalone basis.”

A solar plus storage system helps keep carbon emissions from generating electricity out of the atmosphere, promoting a healthier community for all. It also eliminates the need for utility companies to build more “peaker” plants, the smaller stand-by generating facilities that are only brought online to handle spikes in demand. Activating and shutting them down costs utilities a lot of money — a cost that gets passed on to customers who do not have a solar and storage system they can draw from at any time of day.