by ROB McMANAMY | May 1, 2015

Commanding a stage with the other-wordly confidence only a personal fortune can muster, Tesla founder Elon Musk last night unveiled Tesla Energy, his grand new plan to power our world more sustainably and efficiently by tapping into the galaxy's greatest energy source -- the Sun. Specifically, he introduced the world to Powerwall, a new home battery designed to make us all less dependent on fossil fuels. "Energy storage for a sustainable home," the website says.

Made at Tesla's new Gigafactory in Nevada, Powerwall household units will cost about $3,500 apiece and should hit the market this fall. Installation partners will include BuiltWorlds sponsor SoCore Energy, which was represented at Musk's press conference. A spokesman for the Chicago-based Edison International subsidiary expressed excitement about the Tesla announcement, but said an official statement from SoCore would not be available until next week.

On stage last night at the Tesla Design Center, Musk didn't hold back."Our goal is to fundamentally change the way the world uses energy," he said. "It sounds crazy, but we want to change the entire energy infrastructure of the world to zero carbon."

Ambition is a good thing, especially in the service of a good cause. After all, if the planet itself is at stake, none of us interested in saving it should be afraid to think big.

Listen to the presentation, and see below for more details...

P R E S S  R E L E A S E 

(Hawthorne CA / April 30, 2015) - The world currently consumes 20 trillion kWh of energy annually. Enough energy to power a single family home for 1.8 billion years or supply energy to a nuclear power plant for 2,300 years (or launch the Falcon 9 rocket seventeen million times)

Of all the fossil fuel consumed in the United States, one third is used in transportation and another third goes to electricity production. The US electric power sector alone produces over 2,000 million metric tons of CO2 which is like burning 225 billion gallons of gas. The EPA says it would require 1.6 billion acres of US forest to negate the environmental damage. 

Tesla’s bold approach to advancing battery technology will change the way we build our cities forever.
— Susan Kennedy, CEO, Advanced Microgrid Solutions.

What if we could move the electricity grid off of fossil fuels and towards renewable energy sources?

Once we’re able to rely on renewable energy sources for our power consumption, the top 50% of the dirtiest power generation resources could retire early. We would have a cleaner, smaller, and more resilient energy grid.

Today, Tesla introduces Tesla Energy, a suite of batteries for homes, businesses, and utilities fostering a clean energy ecosystem and helping wean the world off fossil fuels.

Tesla is not just an automotive company, it’s an energy innovation company. Tesla Energy is a critical step in this mission to enable zero emission power generation. 

With Tesla Energy, it is amplifying efforts to accelerate the move away from fossil fuels to a sustainable energy future with Tesla batteries, enabling homes, business, & utilities to store sustainable, renewable energy to manage power demand, provide backup power & increase grid resilience. 


Tesla is already working with utilities and other renewable power partners around the world to deploy storage on the grid to improve resiliency and cleanliness of the grid as a whole. 

The Tesla Powerwall is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery designed to store energy at a residential level for load shifting, backup power and self-consumption of solar power generation. The Powerwall consists of Tesla’s lithium-ion battery pack, liquid thermal control system and software that receives dispatch commands from a solar inverter. The unit mounts seamlessly on a wall and is integrated with the local grid to harness excess power and give customers the flexibility to draw energy from their own reserve. 

Sunny dispositions: SoCore team members on hand for the big night. (SoCore will have more to say next week!)

Sunny dispositions: SoCore team members on hand for the big night. (SoCore will have more to say next week!)

The battery can provide a number of different benefits to the customer including:

  • Load shifting – The battery can provide financial savings to its owner by charging during low rate periods when demand for electricity is lower and discharging during more expensive rate periods when electricity demand is higher;
  • Increasing self-consumption of solar power generation – The battery can store surplus solar energy not used at the time it is generated & use that energy later when the sun is not shining;
  • Back-up power – Assures power in the event of an outage

The Powerwall Home Battery increases the capacity for a household’s solar consumption, while also offering backup functionality during grid outages. 

For utility scale systems, 100kWh battery blocks are grouped to scale from 500kWh to 10MWh+. These systems are capable of 2hr or 4hr continuous net discharge power using grid tied bi-directional inverters. 

Systems support applications including peak shaving, load shifting and demand response for commercial customers while offering, renewable firming and a variety of grid services at utility scales. 

Tesla Utility Storage is designed to: 

  • Firm up renewable generation by reconciling the intermittency of power from these sources and storing excess capacity to dispatch when it’s needed; 
  • Increase resource capacity. Utility Storage acts as on-demand distributed power generation, contributing to the overall generating capacity while adding resiliency to the grid; 
  • Ramp Control. Utility Storage can act as a buffer while the power output from a large generation source is ramping up or down, delivering power instantly to smoothly transition output to the required level; 
  • Improve power quality by preventing fluctuations from propagating to downstream loads. 
  • Defer costly and time-consuming infrastructure upgrades; 
  • Manage peak demand by deploying power within seconds or milliseconds. 
Package deal: Where to plug in your new Tesla? No problem!

Package deal: Where to plug in your new Tesla? No problem!

Utility Projects with Tesla Energy

Advanced Microgrid Solutions (grid resource adequacy) 
“Tesla’s bold approach to advancing battery technology will change the way we build our cities forever” -Susan Kennedy, co-founder and CEO of Advanced Microgrid Solutions.

Southern California Edison
Edison International is proud of its efforts to help create a market for battery storage systems and its work with Tesla to bring this technology to customers. Southern California Edison (SCE), the regulated utility subsidiary of Edison International, has developed the nation’s largest battery storage system and has contracts in place for an additional 264 megawatts of storage, including projects using Tesla batteries. SCE is working with Tesla on three demonstration projects that can help drive down the cost of battery storage systems for residential and business customers, as well as EV drivers. These demand response demonstration projects will test communication capabilities and explore rebates to customers who allow SCE to manage their battery charging in order to increase the use of renewable energy while ensuring continued grid reliability.

AES (solar paired at a utility level)
Tesla Motors' commitment to battery production will help meet the growing demand for energy storage; as a launch partner, we are particularly pleased to leverage the home battery product across our distributed energy platforms. AES has been providing grid-scale energy storage solutions for seven years, building on more than 30 years of experience serving utilities with power solutions that improve lives.The AES Advancion™ digital control system for energy storage manages best-in-class batteries and other components for both centralized and distributed storage systems. In addition, AES’ world-class capability in engineering, installation and operations and maintenance enable turnkey energy storage solutions from KWs to hundreds of MW for utilities and end customers.

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