Tesla Energy: Powerwall solar roof.
Steve Blomefield's picture

Tesla Energy: Success After Success

It seems that Tesla CEO Elon Musk is revolutionizing every area he is touching. He gets a simple idea and then makes a revolutionary change when, with great difficulty, he brings that idea to fruition. Many of his projects work seamlessly and enhance his other projects. Tesla Energy is one of these.
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Not only does Tesla supply power to people in their homes, but it also supplies “free” energy to Tesla cars. A revolutionary idea- fill up your car with power at home instead of going to a service station. Within a few years, it will be patently obvious that Tesla energy is accelerating the transition to sustainable energy through solar power and mega power packs. Not only will families get constant power, but whole suburbs and cities.

Tesla Energy bought Solarcity in November 2016. If Tesla Energy could build solar roofs, power packs would save that energy. That energy could be used during the day or even at night and during power outages. Power packs could be built up to megapacks and be used to save energy for power grids.

Tesla Energy has discovered that it is highly useful as a peaker plant. A diesel peaker plant is very expensive and takes multiple seconds to start and supply power. A gas-fired peaker plant is less expensive but takes time to supply power. A battery peaker plant is almost instant. There is no interruption of power to a network if there is an unexpected and sudden power failure. A battery-powered peaker plant can also be programmed to come on at a regular time and go off at a regular time. It can also provide partial power, ie it can top up power if there is a “brownout” where the voltage is too low and there is too much draw on power.

In 2016 Solar city built a 7 acre solar plant at American Samoa on Tau island. Before that, the island was powered by 110,000 gallons of diesel a year. This diesel that had to be bought to it by ship. Sometimes there were breakdowns of the generator. Sometimes ships could not bring diesel in time and the lights would go out. Now the sun powers the island. Energy is stored in power packs so the village has light at night. Energy is constant. The islanders are independent.

That was just the beginning. Steadily Tesla Energy has grown, being only limited by the shortage of batteries. When the Tesla Model 3 was being produced it took most of the supply of batteries and Tesla Energy had to limit production. In fact, let's see what Tesla will announce about its battery technology in the upcoming Battery Day, especially with this hint.

Tesla Energy Powerpack

Kauai island, Hawaii
The next installation was 52 megawatts of power in Kauai island, Hawaii in 2017. Kauai had the same problem with imported diesel. Even today diesel-generated power is 27 cents per kilowatt, more than twice the cost in other places. Tesla installed 13 megawatts of solar panels and 52 megawatts of battery storage. This served 30,000 customers.

Puerto Rico
In September 2017 a hurricane hit Puerto Rico and put the power out to the island. Tesla was there within a week and it began installing its solar panels and power packs throughout the nation in hospitals and other areas that desperately needed power.

Hornsdale, Australia
In 2017 there was a turning point. Suddenly Tesla Energy was known all over the world. The event that caused this was a bet between Elon musk and an Australian billionaire Mike cannon Brooks. On twitter, Mike could not believe that Elon could install a 100 MW battery within 100 days to serve a wind and solar farm in Hornsdale, Australia. Challenged by this Elon promised that he could do it within 100 days from the signing of the contract or the installation would be free. The bet was on. After 63 days the installation was complete. It has 129 megawatts of power which is able to feed 100 megawatts of power into the grid. Costs were reduced by 76 million in 2019.

Australian Arena Project 2018
In March 2018 Australian renewable energy Agency [ARENA] announced a new Tesla Energy contract. Tesla would install solar panels and power pack batteries to store the energy. People would be supplied with energy and excess energy would go into the grid as a virtual power plant. The project was in 3 parts:

  1. The first is a 100 power-packs installed in 100 homes. This would test the feasibility of the project. It was tested and found to be feasible.
  2. Second, a further 1000 homes would be equipped with 5 Kw solar panels and 13.5 Kwh power packs. The project has achieved these goals so far. In addition, the project will smooth power to the grid. Power usage from the grid has decreased by 70%.
  3. Third, the project would be completed when 50,000 homes would be supplied with panels and power packs. It would not only save grid energy but add energy to the grid. The project has not yet completed this stage. At this stage, it will generate 250 Mw of electricity.

By now Tesla Energy was rapidly expanding. In June 2018 Pacific Gas and Electric Company engaged Tesla to deploy a battery storage system in Moss Landing, near Monterey The system was stated to be capable of producing 182.5 MW for four hours, for a total of 730 MWh of capacity. The project also aims to save costs by reducing PG&E's reliance on peaker power plants. As of July 2020, first phase of the project is set for completion in 2021.

Southern California Edison
Eco-friendly Tesla Energy has now begun to replace peaker power plants. In November 2019 Tesla is contracted by Southern California Edison to build a 250 Mw battery to save 1 gigawatt/h of energy to be used as a superfast peaker plant,

As the world turns to renewable energy one of the obvious choices is Tesla Energy. To this point, the shortage of batteries has been a limiting factor, but now that Panasonic in Nevada is producing greater quantities of batteries; and CATL and LG Chem are promising to supply Tesla with batteries. Now Tesla Energy is free to rapidly expand to fill the demand. Other projects on the cards is the Ventura county 100Mw project; The Moss landing in Monterey county run by Pacific Gas and Electric project [PG &E], a 182.5 Mw project; and a Qatar peak energy project.

Elon Musk has stated that Tesla Energy could be as valuable a company as the multi-billion Tesla Motors. As the world turns to cheaper, quicker, cleaner, renewable, eco-friendly solar, wind and battery projects, Tesla will have its workforce busy with many projects that it is now able to fulfill and Elon Musk will be on the way to fulfilling his dream to accelerate the advent of clean renewable energy.

Also see: BASF may become possible Tesla energy and battery partner for Giga Berlin and what Tesla lacks to become more competitive in the future.

Steve Blomeield, who holds a degree in telecommunications, is one of the several Tesla reporters at Torque News. He loves studying different aspects of life on social media, but the main focus is Space X, Tesla, as well as other electric vehicles. Follow Steve on Twitter at @steveblomefield for daily Tesla news and EV tweets.


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