With all the buzz about Tesla’s vehicle offerings, it is easy to forget that the brand has a blossoming energy storage business. And if the latest report from The Verge proves true, Tesla just hit the motherload of power supply deals.
Southern California Edison’s Mira Loma center has commissioned Tesla to build a 20 MWh (megawatt/hour) to 80 MWh power storage facility in Ontario, California. Tesla says the finished product will generate juice for 2,500 homes or 1,000 cars per day.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he thought the stationary energy storage business would “have a growth rate probably several times that of what the car business is per year.” Guess that was not a bluff.
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The root of the technology is Tesla’s Powerpack industrial energy storage system, which is built in Sparks, Nevada, at the company’s Gigafactory. Tesla bid against several other suppliers in the wake of Aliso Canyon’s gas leak. California Governor Jerry Brown demanded a shift from natural gas and put the California Public Utilities Commission in charge of the transition.
Before the Aliso Canyon gas leak disaster, California had plans for 1,325 megawatts of energy storage by 2020, but that goal may be expanded.
The Tesla storage facility and competitors will ‘time shift’ electricity to peak hours of consumption. The goal here is to build enough energy from off-peak hours to lessen the need for additional power plants to come online during times of greater demand.
Tesla has promised the project will be installed by the end of the year, but did not say how much it is netting from the deal. One thing is for sure: Tesla can use all the additional income it can get as it looks to grow its electric vehicle business. With thousands of Model 3 orders to fill and the risk of losing orders should there be any delays, energy storage deals are undoubtedly far more pertinent to investors.