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Will PGE okay charging batteries from grid with solar?

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,658
491
auburn, ca
Has anyone contacted PGE and gotten an official written response that they do not care if batteries are charged from the Grid if one has solar?

Now if one gets batteries with no solar, I believe Tesla configures to charge from the grid, and I assume PGE does not care and does not need to give any special permission?

I just keep thinking if the goal of TOU rates, etc is to try and get folks to avoid using grid power during peak hours, then why is the system making is to hard to try and support this goal?
 

Ampster

Active Member
Oct 5, 2012
1,780
477
Kenwood, California
I assume PGE does not care and does not need to give any special permission?
Charging from the grid happens behind the meter and that is not an area that PG&E has any real jurisdiction. I do not know if their administration of the SGIP grant gives them any control over the charging from the grid.
I just keep thinking if the goal of TOU rates, etc is to try and get folks to avoid using grid power during peak hours, then why is the system making is to hard to try and support this goal?
I understand your perception that it may be difficult but as I and several posters have pointed out, discharging one Powerwall 700 kWhrs a year would not be difficult. You are not being forced to apply for five Powerwalls. Since they cost you nothing it is your choice to take the risk of not being able to discharge enough. My theory is that because they are free you are like a kid in a candy store and grabbing as many as you can, then complaining that you got a stomach ache because you ate too much candy. How many do you actually need to run your well or your medical device?
Remember the phrase, there is no such thing as a free lunch? This SGIP free lunch has a very simple requirement. If you don't think you can discharge five Powerwalls, then give one up so someone else could have the allocation, especially now that there are none left.
You are confusing the goal of TOU rates and the goal of the SGIP grants. The goal of the particular SGIP ER program which you are applying for is to keep a well or medical device running, not to run the Air Conditioning at full blast during summer. The goal of the TOU rates is to try get people to NOT use their Air Conditioners and other loads during peak times.
 
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aesculus

Still Trying to Figure This All Out
May 31, 2015
4,468
2,537
Northern California
Has anyone contacted PGE and gotten an official written response that they do not care if batteries are charged from the Grid if one has solar?

Now if one gets batteries with no solar, I believe Tesla configures to charge from the grid, and I assume PGE does not care and does not need to give any special permission?

I just keep thinking if the goal of TOU rates, etc is to try and get folks to avoid using grid power during peak hours, then why is the system making is to hard to try and support this goal?
As has been pointed out in many other threads the issue in Calif is that Tesla has decided that if you bought the PWs and have solar you plan on taking the ITC. There are federal restrictions on how the PWs can be used in that manner and also how you log and report your usage.

It has been reported that Tesla convinced the Feds? that if they restricted the use to just store excess solar then the customer would not have to go through all of that proof. So hence we are set with the operational capabilities as they are and we also don't have to do any proof for the ITC period of the asset.

Now the one issue we have with PG&E is that they are only allowing us to send the solar back in real time, vs anytime. So I cannot store solar in the production time and send it back to them during peak, non solar periods. The CAPUC has stated WE SHOULD be able to do that. PG&E and Tesla have not implemented, or even announced, they intend to support that. At this point I think it's more on Tesla than PG&E because they really have no way of knowing what's coming from behind the meter.
 

aesculus

Still Trying to Figure This All Out
May 31, 2015
4,468
2,537
Northern California
I think PG&Es fear is that people will charge from grid at off peak and sell at peak.
Totally agree.

And putting yourself in there place they kind of lose in that scenario. Since the impact to the power grid happens both ways, their equipment takes the hit. It might be somewhat beneficial since you could make an claim that the higher power loads of peak cause more damage and using the PWs this way flattens the curve.

But we really get a great deal when we return energy to them at peak rates. Its way more than just the power production offset that they have almost no role in. But they set up the rules and are masters at it. Occasionally the little guy needs to win a few, even from the CAPUC perspective. :D
 

getakey

Active Member
Jan 28, 2020
1,319
429
95762
Charging from the grid happens behind the meter and that is not an area that PG&E has any real jurisdiction. I do not know if their administration of the SGIP grant gives them any control over the charging from the grid.
I understand your perception that it may be difficult but as I and several posters have pointed out, discharging one Powerwall 700 kWhrs a year would not be difficult. You are not being forced to apply for five Powerwalls. Since they cost you nothing it is your choice to take the risk of not being able to discharge enough. My theory is that because they are free you are like a kid in a candy store and grabbing as many as you can, then complaining that you got a stomach ache because you ate too much candy. How many do you actually need to run your well or your medical device?
Remember the phrase, there is no such thing as a free lunch? This SGIP free lunch has a very simple requirement. If you don't think you can discharge five Powerwalls, then give one up so someone else could have the allocation, especially now that there are none left.
You are confusing the goal of TOU rates and the goal of the SGIP grants. The goal of the particular SGIP ER program which you are applying for is to keep a well or medical device running, not to run the Air Conditioning at full blast during summer. The goal of the TOU rates is to try get people to NOT use their Air Conditioners and other loads during peak times.

I agree. I think the SGIP ER program should only allow sizing PWs to meet the emergency need. Anything above that should be paid
 

Ampster

Active Member
Oct 5, 2012
1,780
477
Kenwood, California
But, I am stilling looking for anyone who has tried.
Tried? Your title suggests that the answer is with PG&E. At least one poster has tried talking to Tesla and that seems like the optimal course of action.
I agree it is just my opinion that PG&E does not care or have any authority over how we use power once it gets to our side of the meter. It is an opinion however, that is based on the fact that Tesla is the one that controls how a Powerwall charges. Furthermore it is based on the facts that I do not have a Powerwall and I can charge as much as I want to charge from the grid. I choose not to charge from the grid in order to preserve my Investment Tax Credit. What facts do you have that support another opinion about the authority of PG&E?
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,658
491
auburn, ca
From what the person posted who did it, I believe he stated he had in writing his provided did not care. Without that, he could not have gone to Tesla. So, just seems like one of many possible steps. This stuff is all a game. Fun to try, why not? I have zero to lose. As of now, cannot "officially" get batteries to charge from grid other than storm watch. :)
 

RKCRLR

Member
Apr 13, 2020
426
167
Garden Valley, CA
PG&E told me to ask the SGIP depertment about charging from the grid. I asked:

"Tesla has told me that I can't charge my Powerwalls from the grid unless there is a storm or PSPS eminent. My question is:
Is it a PG&E requirement that I'm not allowed to charge my Powerwalls from the grid if I have solar generation? "

They responded:
"Thanks for reaching out to us. You may charge your battery from the grid.

Sincerely,

Basil Foster

Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)

Phone: 415-973-6436 or email [email protected]"

I haven't pursued this any further since I don't know where I'm going to wind up at True-Up. If I wind up with a $0 dollar True-Up (and still manage to maintain a reasonable reserve for power outages) then there isn't any need for me to charge from the grid.

Also, I saw comments above about limiting the number of PowerWalls available through the SGIP Equity Resiliency program. The maximum power that qualifies for the Residential ER program is 10Kw. So 2 PowerWalls maximum.

Also, with regards to charging from the grid and "selling" the energy back to PG&E, I really don't understand the issue. If they structure the peak periods correctly then they need the power during the peak periods. Tesla would know how much you charged from the grid and how much solar you generated. They could make it so you don't sell back more power during the peak period than you generated within a year.
 
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Reactions: BGbreeder

Ampster

Active Member
Oct 5, 2012
1,780
477
Kenwood, California
PG&E told me to ask the SGIP depertment about charging from the grid. I asked:

"Tesla has told me that I can't charge my Powerwalls from the grid unless there is a storm or PSPS eminent. My question is:
Is it a PG&E requirement that I'm not allowed to charge my Powerwalls from the grid if I have solar generation? "

They responded:
"Thanks for reaching out to us. You may charge your battery from the grid.

Sincerely,

Basil Foster

Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)

Phone: 415-973-6436 or email [email protected]"
Thanks for clarifying that. One of the benefits of forums like this is that facts get to to be stated and those should allow most people to rely on those easily verifiable facts instead of opinions of anonymous posters. I include myself in the category of anonymous posters.
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,658
491
auburn, ca
PG&E told me to ask the SGIP depertment about charging from the grid. I asked:

"Tesla has told me that I can't charge my Powerwalls from the grid unless there is a storm or PSPS eminent. My question is:
Is it a PG&E requirement that I'm not allowed to charge my Powerwalls from the grid if I have solar generation? "

They responded:
"Thanks for reaching out to us. You may charge your battery from the grid.

Sincerely,

Basil Foster

Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)

Phone: 415-973-6436 or email [email protected]"

I haven't pursued this any further since I don't know where I'm going to wind up at True-Up. If I wind up with a $0 dollar True-Up (and still manage to maintain a reasonable reserve for power outages) then there isn't any need for me to charge from the grid.

Also, I saw comments above about limiting the number of PowerWalls available through the SGIP Equity Resiliency program. The maximum power that qualifies for the Residential ER program is 10Kw. So 2 PowerWalls maximum.

Also, with regards to charging from the grid and "selling" the energy back to PG&E, I really don't understand the issue. If they structure the peak periods correctly then they need the power during the peak periods. Tesla would know how much you charged from the grid and how much solar you generated. They could make it so you don't sell back more power during the peak period than you generated within a year.
Where do you find the ER is limited to 2? Not true from what I know :)
 

h2ofun

Active Member
Aug 11, 2020
2,658
491
auburn, ca
PG&E told me to ask the SGIP depertment about charging from the grid. I asked:

"Tesla has told me that I can't charge my Powerwalls from the grid unless there is a storm or PSPS eminent. My question is:
Is it a PG&E requirement that I'm not allowed to charge my Powerwalls from the grid if I have solar generation? "

They responded:
"Thanks for reaching out to us. You may charge your battery from the grid.

Sincerely,

Basil Foster

Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP)

Phone: 415-973-6436 or email [email protected]"

I haven't pursued this any further since I don't know where I'm going to wind up at True-Up. If I wind up with a $0 dollar True-Up (and still manage to maintain a reasonable reserve for power outages) then there isn't any need for me to charge from the grid.

Also, I saw comments above about limiting the number of PowerWalls available through the SGIP Equity Resiliency program. The maximum power that qualifies for the Residential ER program is 10Kw. So 2 PowerWalls maximum.

Also, with regards to charging from the grid and "selling" the energy back to PG&E, I really don't understand the issue. If they structure the peak periods correctly then they need the power during the peak periods. Tesla would know how much you charged from the grid and how much solar you generated. They could make it so you don't sell back more power during the peak period than you generated within a year.
So, where is the bottle neck? SGIP? PGE? Tesla? Am confused. I want to pursue, why not?
 

RKCRLR

Member
Apr 13, 2020
426
167
Garden Valley, CA
Where do you find the ER is limited to 2? Not true from what I know :)
I don't remember the details but it boiled down to a 10Kw limit on the system size to be considered under the Residential ER incentive. There may be a way around it but I think if you get over 10Kw you need to show a usage history that exceeds that peak power demand. And Tesla wouldn't go there. Each PowerWall can provide 5Kw so 2 just squeak in. There is also a discharge rate requirement.
 
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aesculus

Still Trying to Figure This All Out
May 31, 2015
4,468
2,537
Northern California
Tesla would know how much you charged from the grid and how much solar you generated. They could make it so you don't sell back more power during the peak period than you generated within a year.
100% agree and Tesla needs to get on this. We could be making millions. :D
 

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