Powerwall to Tesla

Consumers’ Research has covered both the topic of household batteries and the topic of microgrids in the past, but does the newly introduced Tesla Energy as a division of Tesla Motors have the potential to change how residents consume energy? Elon Musk announced the formation of Tesla Energy yesterday and will provide a battery system for homes, businesses, and utilities via storage batteries, giving residents the potential to go off the grid by creating small community and household energy grids. Elon Musk announced a similar project of a larger scale called Powerpack which is more suitable for larger scale utilities and can scale up to 10 mWh. So far, Musk plans to partner with SolarCity in order to save solar power from the day for use at night and over vacation periods; this energy can be used to charge vehicles and other appliances or be fed back into the grid. The price of this system currently costs ~$3000 for installers, but as Elon Musk notes, “This is only the beginning”. The household battery is expected to create a way to reduce peak demand for power and reduce stress on energy grids.

Sean Gallagher, vice president of state affairs at the Solar Energy Industries Association explains,

“Storage increases the options, It allows customers to meet more scenarios economically.”

Tesla released a statement describing the perceived benefits of their new product:

  • Maximize consumption of on-site clean power
  • Avoid peak demand charges
  • Buy electricity when it’s cheapest
  • Get paid by utility or intermediate service providers for participating in grid
  • Back up critical business operations in the event of a power outage

Read more – Tesla Powerwall: A Battery For Your Home (Gizmodo, Campbell Simpson)

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Ethica Burt works with CR as a Marketing Fellow. She is in her final semester as an undergraduate of George Washington University where she studies International Business and Sustainability. As a fellow she focuses on researching consumer issues whilst also bringing awareness to the organization as a whole.


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