Albuquerque Startups TechCrunch Disrupt

SunPort: get solar power directly from your outlets

As you have no doubt seen, solar energy production is at its highest level in history; solar energy production is also cheaper than ever before. 1 That said, solar energy has yet to see the huge bump in consumer demand that countless economists have predicted. There are a few different reasons for this. Firstly, solar doesn’t make sense for every location. There is a certain latitude line – which is escaping me at the moment – that above which solar is not cost-effective. Perhaps the most important factor, however, is the lack of a way for consumers to signal demand. While yes, solar energy production is at is cheapest level in history, it is still expensive on an individual consumer level. Well, we had the chance to speak with Plug.Solar during TechCrunch Disrupt NY. Solar.Plug has developed a unique device that will allow consumers to utilize solar power from the grid: the SunPort:

SunPort-image SunPort: get solar power directly from your outlets

You deserve the freedom to choose your energy source, no matter who you are or where you live. Imagine the ability to choose where your energy comes from, rather than simply accepting whatever comes out of the wall. The SunPort allows you to demand solar energy whether or not you can host your own panels.2

While, no, you will not receive the solar power directly through your outlet, the SunPort, and Plug.Solar utilize a program similar to the carbon offset practices. Instead of provide users electricity generated directly from solar panels, the SunPort tracks the amount of electricity you use, and introduces the same amount, generated from solar panels, back into the grid:

Tapping into the same systems used by fortune 500 companies and utilities nationwide, the SunPort monitors your energy use and matches it with SunJoule renewable energy credits. This ensures that the energy you use is being generated by solar and put into the grid for distribution. Since electrons can’t be tracked directly, the only way to distinguish renewable energy from non-renewable energy is through certification. Third party certification is a well established industry practice supported by federal government agencies including the EPA, DOE and FTC.3

We had a chance to speak with the SunPort Team during TC Disrupt. They told us a little more about the company and the mission:

 

  1. Michael Graham Richard, Treehuger, “This striking chart shows why solar power will take over the world,” 15 April 2015  
  2. Plug.Solar  
  3. Plug.Solar, “How it Works”