Blog Post

SimpliPhi Power and California Solar Electric Expand Energy Storage Capacity at Taft Botanical Gardens Eco Resort

Solar+storage systems scale as commercial operation grows in Southern California

Ojai, Calif., March 22, 2015SimpliPhi Power and California Solar Electric have completed the second phase of an off-grid solar plus storage installation at the Taft Botanical Gardens in Ojai, Calif, which are part of an eco resort owned by the non-profit Conservation Endowment Fund. The second phase of the installation included an additional eight PHI2.6 kWh batteries (doubling the PHI power storage), providing enough extra power capacity to run electrical loads well into the night without utilizing a generator for a total of 41.6 kWh of stored PV power.

Taft Botanical Gardens’ Battery Energy Storage Before Expansion Project

Taft Gardens was challenged to preserve the pristine natural environment of the gardens while at the same time generating and harvesting enough off-grid power to accommodate expanding operations at this remote location. California Solar Electric originally designed and installed an off-grid hybrid solar power generation and storage solution that would eliminate trenching power lines and dramatically reduce generator use and fuel consumption for the eco resort. Phase one of the off-grid solar plus storage system involved the installation of eight PHI2.6 kWh batteries (48 v) to provide over 20 kWh of stored power for the facilities’ main lodge and three separate living quarters. A year later, it was evident that the solar PV generation exceeded both the resort’s daily electricity loads and the battery storage capacity. Increasing the battery storage allowed them to capture all their PV generation and store more power for evening loads in order to maximize their capital investment – all off grid.

Taft Botanical Gardens’ Battery Energy Storage After Expansion Project

“Taft Gardens educates visitors about environmental conservation, so the challenge was to incorporate a truly sustainable, scalable energy resource into the property that would become a part of the educational experience while still being reliable and easily scalable as operations increased,” said Catherine Von Burg, CEO of SimpliPhi Power. “California Solar Electric looked to our non-toxic and safe low-voltage storage solution for its performance and accessibility – empowering the high-end eco resort managers to become active participants in their own energy resource generation and utilization on-site. The SimpliPhi batteries are so versatile and user-friendly, the staff can even safely disconnect and re-purpose the batteries if needed in a sudden or long-term off-grid emergency. ”

Critical to the success of the off-grid power system was an enduring and robust energy storage solution that was non-toxic and that would eliminate the need for temperature monitoring and cooling, the use of fossil fuels and trenching transmission lines across miles of rugged terrain. California Solar Electric installed SimpliPhi’s battery solution because they are proven to perform in hot climates, such as those in Southern California, and their modularity met the project’s needs for scalable capacity expansion without additional transmission infrastructure or equipment upgrades.

“We have customers who are looking to expand their power storage capacity to match expansion of their businesses or home energy needs, and we even have customers looking to retrofit their grid-tied solar systems with storage. Having SimpliPhi’s solution, that is modular and scales without increasing voltage as the batteries are wired in parallel, gives us opportunities to expand capacity or add storage without changing other equipment like charge controllers or inverters,” said California Solar Electric CEO Don Campbell. “For Taft Gardens, this approach allowed us to fully utilize a distributed energy model of power generation and storage assets to make each building independent and power secure beyond the traditional limits of the transmission grid.”

About California Solar Electric

California Solar Electric has been based in Ojai and operating across the central coast for 15 years with the mission of being a community catalyst for a sustainable future with education, promotion, and the installation of clean, renewable power from the sun. The family-owned solar company is comprised of employees with an impressive background of skills and education. From the office to the rooftop, everyone takes part in the decision making process and leadership, allowing the team to stay flexible to the needs of the local market, cutting edge in adopting new technology, and promptly responsive to the customers who contract them. As part of the dedication to providing high quality on and off-grid customer service using the latest and most efficient solar electric and battery storage technology, CSE is one of only a handful of Elite SunPower solar dealers in the world. Now on the path to becoming the regional resource for on and off grid Solar plus Battery backup system integration, the entire CSE staff loves what they do and where they do it. Years after installation, the company strives to have its customers to be as excited about their solar system as they were the day installation was completed. CSE believes integrity in what they propose, high quality installations, long-term reliable service, and the safety of all workers and clients are the key to achieving this level of customer satisfaction. For more information, visit

About SimpliPhi Power

SimpliPhi Power designs and manufactures clean energy storage and management systems that utilize lithium ferrous phosphate chemistry. Founded in 2002 as LibertyPak/Optimized Energy Storage, California-based SimpliPhi combines non-toxic lithium ferrous phosphate chemistry with proprietary cell and battery architecture to create the most safe, reliable, durable and scalable on-demand power solutions available for the residential, commercial, military and film industries. Integral to all SimpliPhi solutions is a management system that further optimizes the lifetime performance and durability of its batteries. SimpliPhi Power storage system components are UL certified, and have been rigorously tested and deployed by the U.S. Army and Marine Corps. For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter @SimpliPhiPower or on Facebook and LinkedIn.