As the ‘Solar + Storage’ market has begun to heat up, numerous companies both new and existing, have come forward with ‘smart battery’ offerings to appeal to the growing demand. Fueling the interest, Vermont’s largest electrical utility, Green Mountain Power, initiated a battery program of their own, designed primarily to help them shave their very expensive ‘peak demand’ costs. Instead of simply jumping on the bandwagon with a given product, Same Sun’s leadership team, having over 3 decades of combined solar experience, opted to step back, research and personally test a number of storage solutions before formalizing a customer offering. After over a year of product research, technical training and installation of a variety of battery systems, Pika Energy was selected to be Same Sun’s premier solar + storage offering, and was even installed as a working demonstration in the new company headquarters.View PDF
Unlike other multinational companies with both customer service and manufacturing out of state or country, Pika was founded by MIT engineers, is headquartered in Maine and has manufacturing in the Northeast U.S. For a more customer involved product such as battery storage, this was weighed heavily to ensure strong product and customer support. The “Pika Energy Island” product line with its DC-coupled (and soon to be AC-coupled) hybrid inverters is considered by many to be one of the first to market and employing easy-to-expand and cutting edge technology. Additionally, Panasonic, the 100 year old plus electronics and solar giant, selected Pika to be their solar + storage partner, providing similar lithium-ion batteries for the Pika Energy Island system as they supply for Tesla electric vehicles.
Pika Energy Island
The Pika Energy Island and it’s “Harbor Smart” batteries are also capable of industry leading back-up power – both continuous and surge output, which is especially notable in rural Vermont where many homes would like to backup their well pumps in addition to lighter loads during a grid outage. While the primary driver for battery storage in Vermont remains back up power, the Pika Energy Island is also capable of advanced grid functionality, including ‘self-consumption,’ ‘time-of-use’ (TOU) or ‘grid arbitrage,’ and ‘zero-export’ (as is common in Hawaii).