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Nissan Energy Solar plugs into home green-energy business

Japanese car company's solar and energy storage solution follows Tesla and Mercedes-Benz into the residential market.

Nissan

Nissan is joining the residential green-energy movement.

Following on the heels of Tesla and Mercedes-Benz, the Japanese car company has announced its Nissan Energy Solar initiative, which "combines world-class residential solar panels with [an] energy storage system." The move was announced in the Canary Islands at the Electric Ecosystem Experience symposium.

The automaker has been hinting that it would move in this direction for years now, investigating how decommissioned battery packs from its fleet of Nissan Leaf EVs can have a second life as home or business energy storage mediums. The company has not yet confirmed who makes the battery packs for Nissan Energy Solar, or if they have their origins in one of their vehicles.

The Nissan Energy Solar system includes a "home energy management system" that enables real-time control over where their power comes from. The system can route excess energy to storage batteries, and/or use the power to charge an electric vehicle like a Nissan Leaf or e-NV200 van.

Interestingly, for now, the system will only be available in the UK -- a country not exactly known for rampant sunshine -- and Nissan estimates that the system could save home owners as much as 66-percent on their electric bills.

As Nissan Energy's managing director, Francisco Carranza, noted in a statement, "Over 880,000 UK homes already have solar panels installed… Nissan Energy Solar is just one step in supporting our commitment to investing in innovative energy solutions for a more sustainable future and intelligent way of living."

Nissan Energy Solar's debut follows a December announcement by the company that it would help Japanese Leaf owners receive free solar panels through Ecosystem Japan.

Nissan hasn't disclosed solar panel or battery specs yet, but says home applications will start at £3,881 -- around $5,400 -- for a six-panel solar system, including tax and installation. No word yet on US or Canadian-market availability.