Residential solar and battery systems are a scalable way to increase the capacity and resilience of the electrical grid quickly. That’s why many utility companies encourage the adoption of this exciting technology by offering incentives to homeowners who install a new system. In Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming, homeowners can lower the cost of a new Torus Station by enrolling in Rocky Mountain Power’s Wattsmart Battery Program. Doing so is a great way to earn upfront cash and ongoing credits from the utility company while promoting greener, more reliable energy in your community.
- The Torus Station is one of the select few batteries eligible for enrollment in the Wattsmart Battery Program.
- Enrolling in the Wattsmart Battery Program can lower the upfront cost of a new Torus Station by up to $6,000 and earn you ongoing credits from the utility company.
- In 2022, Rocky Mountain Power pulled from participating batteries 33 times, with each event only lasting approximately 5 minutes and using 5% of customers’ batteries.
- Participating in the Wattsmart Battery Program makes electricity greener and more dependable for your entire community
What is the Wattsmart Battery Program?
Rocky Mountain Power’s Wattsmart Battery Program is an initiative to make Utah’s grid greener and more dependable by building a robust Virtual Power Plant. As part of the program, Rocky Mountain Power offers homeowners an upfront payment and ongoing bill credits for installing a new solar and battery system and enrolling it in the program. Rocky Mountain Power then virtually connects these batteries into a single source of electricity it can use to balance the grid when demand is high. Enrolling in the Wattsmart program can lower the upfront cost of your Torus Station by thousands of dollars. And, Rocky Mountain Power will provide annual bill credits for as long as you participate in the program.
How does joining the Wattsmart Battery Program help my community?
Compared to traditional power plants, virtual power plants (VPPs) like the Wattsmart Battery Program offer a quick, efficient, inexpensive way to expand grid capacity and increase reliability. The coolest part? VPPs significantly reduce the grid’s carbon footprint. Much of the energy that is stored in a Torus Station’s battery comes from solar panels. So, when Rocky Mountain Power pulls from your battery, it’s balancing the grid with clean energy, not electricity created by burning fossil fuels. Joining a VPP like the Wattsmart Battery Program doesn’t just lower the cost of your solar and battery system; it also makes electricity cheaper, greener, and more dependable for your entire community.
Can I track my participation in the Wattsmart Battery Program through the Torus App?
Yes, you can! New customers can easily enroll their Torus Station in the program through the Torus App. Once enrolled, the app will automatically alert you when Rocky Mountain Power pulls from your battery and tell you how long the event lasted and how much electricity was used.
The app also shows the larger impact of the Torus Community–the network of Torus Station owners participating in Rocky Mountain Power’s virtual power plant. You’ll still be able to track the environmental impact of your individual station, but you’ll also see the CO2 emissions Torus customers as a whole are saving by sharing their green electricity with the grid.
How much will I save by enrolling in the Wattsmart Battery Program?
The Wattsmart Battery Program’s upfront payment and ongoing bill credits depend on your system's size. As a general rule, the more battery storage you enroll in the program, the greater your savings will be. Here’s a quick snapshot of the savings associated with different-sized Torus Stations.
The Wattsmart program is based on the power discharge capability (kW) of your system, not the energy storage capacity (kWh).
Incentives based on battery output
- Eligible batteries and incentives
Commercial customers receive $600/kW and residential customers with solar installed prior to 9/1/2021 receive $600/kW.
More than one battery requires pre-approval.
- Qualifying batteries
$400 per kW (based on a 4-year commitment), $15 per kW, per year.
Example incentive (based on 10 kW battery installed): 10 kW x $400 = $4,000. 10 kW x $15 = $150 annual bill credit ($150 /12 = $12.50 monthly bill credit)
- Torus Station Core with 8kW inverter
10kWh capacity, 5kW output = $2,000
20kWh capacity, 10kW output = $3,200
30kWh capacity, 15kW output = $3,200
- Torus Station Core with 16kW inverter
20kWh capacity, 10kW output = $4,000
30kWh capacity, 15kW output = $6,000
- Torus Station Core with 24kW inverter
30kWh capacity, 15kW output = $6,000
What are the qualifications for participating in the program?
Only a select few batteries—including the Torus Station—qualify for the Wattsmart program. If you plan to enroll in the program, here are a few other requirements to keep in mind:
- The largest battery size you can register is 30kWh.
- Your system must be new. Used batteries are not eligible for the program.
- You must have a reliable internet connection.
- You must install one of Rocky Mountain Power’s approved batteries to participate.
- You must be a Rocky Mountain Power customer in order to participate.
Keep in mind that guidelines around the program may change in the future. To ensure you have the most up-to-date information, visit the Wattsmart Battery website.
How do I enroll in the program?
Joining the Wattsmart Battery Program is easy! Here are the steps typically required to enroll:
- Find a qualified installer to assess which approved battery system is right for your needs.
- Review the program requirements to understand how Rocky Mountain Power will utilize your battery if you enroll.
- Install your solar system and approved battery storage. Connect your system to the grid.
- Submit an application for the program through Rocky Mountain Power.
- Wait for Rocky Mountain Power to review your application and verify it can communicate with your battery.
- Receive your incentive payment!
If you have any questions about the program, please don’t hesitate to contact us! Our team can help determine if enrollment is the best option for you.
Can I still qualify for the upfront incentive if I already have solar?
Yes! When you add a battery to an existing solar system, you’re still eligible for upfront incentives if you enroll in the Wattsmart Battery Program.
If I enroll, how will Rocky Mountain Power use my battery?
The Wattsmart Battery program aggregates all participating batteries into a single source of energy that’s large enough to help meet grid demand. Each individual solar and battery system stores excess solar energy in its battery during the day. When the sun is no longer shining, or demand is particularly high, Rocky Mountain Power can direct this extra energy to the grid, providing clean, reliable power to customers around the clock.
If you enroll in the Wattsmart Battery Program, Rocky Mountain Power may utilize your battery at any point. However, in 2022, they only pulled from participating batteries 33 times, with each event lasting approximately 5 minutes and using 5% of customers’ batteries. When they do require additional power, they will not discharge your battery below 20%, ensuring that it remains healthy and you maintain some backup power at all times.
How long do I have to participate in the program?
Homeowners who join the Wattsmart Battery Program participate for at least four years. You can request to be removed from the program at any point. However, if you do so, you will be required to pay back a prorated portion of your upfront incentive.
Will I still be able to use my Torus Station for backup power?
Yes! Even on days when Rocky Mountain Power is relying heavily on your battery, you will maintain some backup power.