Posted on December 01, 2016 by Matt Pressman
Earlier this year, during the Tesla Motors [NASDAQ: TSLA] Shareholders Meeting, Electrek reported that, "[Elon] Musk previously said that he expected about 1/3 of the Gigafactory production would go toward Tesla Energy products for energy storage, Powerwall and Powerpacks, and 2/3 toward battery packs for Tesla vehicles. Today he updated his expected split to 'closer to even'... [and] he added – with a 'high degree of uncertainty' – that on a revenue standpoint in the long-term, he expects Tesla Energy products will generate similar revenue for Tesla as the company’s vehicles."
Above: Tesla Model 3 parked next to the Powerwall 2 home battery mounted on wall (Instagram: avant.tesla)
Wait a second. Could the Tesla Powerwall and Powerpack stationary battery storage products really equal revenue from Tesla's automotive sales? Perhaps. From recent reports, it appears that Tesla's efforts surrounding stationary battery storage are quickly ramping up. And Tesla's competitive advantage could be quite significant. News out of Australia's Financial Review is encouraging, "Tesla's Powerwall 2 can pay for itself in six years, then its electricity is free." Their view? "This scotches the view that battery technology won't move as quickly as solar panels, and brings closer the tipping point at which batteries penetrate the mass market as solar panels have done."
Above: Tesla Powerwall 2.0 (Image: Gizmodo Australia)
And Teslarati reports that the, "Tesla Powerwall 2 costs 30% less than [it's] closest competitor... Comparing the cost per warrantied kilowatt-hour (cycled once per day) across 30 different battery systems, Powerwall 2 has the most favorable cost to store each kWh of energy in the battery, as warrantied by the manufacturer." A quick reference of, "a battery comparison table, provided courtesy of Renew Economy AU [see below], gives the cost per warrantied kilowatt-hour for over 30 battery systems when fully cycled once per day. The Powerwall 2 is well ahead of the closest competition."
With competitive advantages on the home battery front, it's just as (if not more) encouraging on Tesla's gird-scale storage initiatives with Tesla's Powerpack commercial batteries. Admittedly, we've already reported on some impressive projects. But more recently, Tesla, in combination with newly acquired SolarCity, has: "deployed a 1.4-megawatt solar array and a 6-megawatt hour energy storage system with 60 Tesla Powerpacks. The system is what is called a microgrid and it’s now the island’s main source of energy... The project is being described as one of the most advanced microgrids ever deployed and it is located about 4,000 miles from the West Coast of the United States." I wouldn't be surprised if this foreshadows some big projects on the horizon, check out the video below...
Above: The island of Ta’u in American Samoa now runs on nearly 100% solar energy thanks to 5,300+ solar panels and 60 Tesla Powerpacks (Youtube: Tesla)
And there's more — Fortune recently reported on another remarkable project. Where? Located on the "Hawaiian island of Kauai sits a first of its kind solar and battery project... [where] close to 55,000 solar panels, which are still being installed on the site, [and they] aren’t yet converting the sun’s light into electricity, but something else quite remarkable is happening at the project... [as] it will be one of the first ones where a utility is using big blocks of Tesla batteries, and it will also be one of the first utility systems to use solar and batteries to displace power-hungry generators."
Above: On the Hawaiian island of Kauai, Tesla Powerpacks sit in the foreground with SolarCity’s solar panel farm in the background (Source: Fortune)
And Fortune also notes that, "the solar and battery project is a glimpse into a future in which energy companies combine clean power with energy storage in order to lower greenhouse gas emissions, and in some cases reduce energy costs. In addition, the project shows how Tesla, an electric car and battery tech maker, could work closely with [newly acquired] SolarCity to construct the solar and battery vision laid out by billionaire Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla." Could projects like this scale worldwide for Tesla? Indeed, it turns out that: "Tesla plans to do 'hundreds of utility-level battery installations,' said Musk."