Why was SolarCity given a $1.8 million grant by the state of California?



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    The grant was given by the California Public Utilities Commission to research whether or not it would be practical to use power stored by solar panels to supply energy to residential homes.  The energy could be stored for usage during solar down time (like a rainy day), relieving the use of fossil fuels during this period.  Tesla Motors, for their lithium-ion battery and the University of California Berkley will also be included in the study.  It would also serve as a sort of power generator — when the power grid is down, for whatever reason, residents could hypothetically use the energy stored in the battery to power their homes.

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