Mercedes-Benz, Vivint to power solar homes

Mercedes And Vivint Solar To Take On Tesla In The US

Utah-based Vivint Solar to packages panels with Mercedes-Benz batteries

In the coming years, this global market is expected to see aggressive growth, creating many new opportunities for those invested in the solar energy and storage spaces. The systems are made up of 2.5-kilowatt-hour batteries - each the size of a mini-fridge - that can be combined in systems up to 20 kilowatt hours.

Vivint Solar, based here, is collaborating with Mercedes-Benz to take on Tesla and other providers in the residential solar energy and storage market.

Musk made that much clear during his initial solar roof unveiling, where he discussed how a solar push allows for the full integration of Tesla products: a Powerwall that both stores solar energy and juices up your electric vehicle.

The batteries will be sold through Vivint Solar initially, giving solar customers the chance to better harness and control the energy they're capturing on their roof.

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California will be the first USA market where Vivint Solar will offer this new energy storage solution. "The launch of our home battery system in Europe has been successful and we are thrilled to be working with Vivint Solar to bring a reliable and compelling solar plus storage offering to American homes".

Now Mercedes-Benz is the latest to join the industry and it seems to be doing it in a more serious way than Nissan or BMW with a new partnership with Vivint Solar, the second biggest residential solar installer in the United States after Tesla's SolarCity.

"We're not just looking at energy storage as a pure storage play, but looking strongly at it from an electric-vehicle perspective, as well with the expansion of Daimler into EVs", von Bormann said.

Vivint Solar, a Utah-based installation company with customers in 16 states, offers custom services for homeowners, including solar panel installation, smart home systems and storage.

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The new offering will be available in California first.

"An energy storage system will allow you to have an electric vehicle and self-produce that electricity for the electric vehicle", von Bormann said in an interview. For those living in power zones with time-of-use electricity rates, users can store excess solar energy for consumption when energy costs shoot up, such as during nighttime. Deployments of these set-ups totaled 336 megawatt-hours in 2016, double the amount deployed in 2015, GTM Research and the Energy Storage Association reported in March.

The partnership will allow both companies to compete with similar offerings from Elon Musk's Tesla, which acquired rooftop installer Solar City previous year, as well as Sunrun, LG Chem, and other clean energy firms.

Mercedes started selling battery systems in Europe previous year. That doesn't sound too bad, and if the price is right, Mercedes-Benz could certainly break into the energy scene here in the US. The company said that once necessary permits are obtained, installation of complete systems typically takes one or two days.

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