“To help wean the world off fossil fuels,” Elon Musk, Tesla’s chief executive officer, introduced the company’s latest suite of batteries for homes and businesses at its design studio in LA last night. The suite, called Tesla Energy, includes a wall-mounted battery for homes called the Powerwall and a battery for businesses called the Powerpack.
According to Tesla, “With Tesla Energy, [the company] is amplifying its efforts to accelerate the move away from fossil fuels to a sustainable energy future with Tesla batteries, enabling homes, business, and utilities to store sustainable and renewable energy to manage power demand, provide backup power and increase grid resilience.”
The Powerwall is a a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that stores energy at a “residential level for load shifting, backup power and self-consumption of solar power generation.” The home battery charges using electricity produced from solar panels, or when utility rates are lower (usually during the daytime and overnight while most people are working or asleep), and uses the stored power in the evening when rates and demand are higher. The Powerwall also serves as a backup electricity supply during power outages. The internet-connectivity of the Powerwall also provides Tesla Energy usage-monitoring capabilities.
The Powerwall can be installed on an exterior wall of a home or the interior wall of a garage (to charge your Tesla vehicle, duh). Tesla has set the selling price of the Powerwall to installers at $3500 for 10kWh and $3000 for 7kWh. Deliveries will begin in late summer, but orders can be placed today. The Powerpack for businesses will become available this year with a larger push in 2016.
Beyond residential and commercial uses, Musk also sees potential uses in countries overseas where solar power is popular, like Germany, and in developing countries that may lack a stable and efficient power grid. “In a lot of places there are no utility lines,” he said at the revealing last night.
A few companies have already partnered with Tesla for the new battery line, including, but not limited to, TreeHouse, and Green Mountain Power. TreeHouse, an Austin-based sustainable home improvement store, plans to sell the battery packs in addition to its own solar options. Green Mountain Power, Vermont’s “energy company of the future,” plans to sell the battery packs to customers who already own solar power capabilities.
Ultimately, the nation’s electrical infrastructure will be more stable with less homes and businesses on the grid during peak hours. This means saving energy, money, and fossil fuels.
“We’re talking about trying to change the fundamental energy infrastructure of the world,” said Musk. “This is actually within the power of humanity to do. It is not impossible.”
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