New York Times: The Hottest Amenity From Developers? A Power Plant Made of Batteries. Charged via rooftop solar panels, the cells form a network that provides a building with backup electricity and that utilities can tap during peak periods.
Soleil Lofts, an apartment development in suburban Salt Lake City, offers a lot of amenities — pools, three spas, a basketball court, electric appliances, a dog park — to lure potential residents.
But the feature that sealed the deal for Maik Kannenberg, a sales representative for a local tech firm, was a sleek, silent device: an energy storage battery.
Mr. Kannenberg’s home, like every apartment in the $156 million, 600-unit complex, includes a new ecoLinx battery made by the German company Sonnen. Charged via rooftop solar panels, these cells, roughly the size of a water heater, collectively form what’s called a virtual power plant. The system not only provides 12.6 megawatt-hours of backup power for the building, it also makes better use of the renewable power generated on site.