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by Tim Beissmann

Tesla will move beyond the automotive industry with the launch of an eco-friendly energy storage system for homes, businesses and utilities dubbed Tesla Energy.

The Californian car maker claims the battery-based Tesla Energy system aims to foster a clean energy ecosystem and help wean the world off fossil fuels.

Tesla Energy will see Tesla batteries deployed in homes, businesses and utility companies, making them capable of storing sustainable and renewable energy to manage power demand, provide back-up power and increase grid resilience.

Tesla – which sees itself as an “energy innovation company”, not just a car maker – believes Tesla Energy is “a critical step” in the mission to enable zero-emissions power generation.

The company, headed up by entrepreneur Elon Musk, is already working with utilities and other renewable power partners around the world to deploy storage on the grid to improve the resiliency and cleanliness of the grid as a whole.

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From around August, Tesla will begin delivering Powerwall home batteries to customers in the US.

The Tesla Powerwall is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that stores energy at a residential level for load shifting, back-up power and self-consumption of solar power generation.

It allows customers to save money by charging during low rate periods when demand for electricity is lower and discharging during more expensive rate periods when demand is higher. It can also store surplus solar energy not used at the time it’s generated to use at a later time, and assures power in the event of an outage.

The Powerwall measures 1300mm tall, 860mm wide and 180mm deep, and is available in 7kWh and 10kWh sizes priced at US$3000 ($3800) and US$3500 ($4440) respectively.

The Tesla Powerwall will be released in Australia during the first quarter of 2016.

Tesla’s energy storage system will allow businesses to capture the full potential of their facility’s solar arrays by storing excess generation for later use and delivering solar power at all times.

Business energy storage is designed to maximise consumption of on-site clean power and allow business owners to avoid peak demand charges, buy electricity when it’s cheapest, back up critical business operations in the event of a power outage, and get paid by utility or intermediate service providers for participating in grid services.

Business customers can discuss the deployment of commercial batteries with Tesla Australia now.

For utility-scale systems, 100kWh battery blocks can grouped to scale from 500kWh to more than 10MWh, and are capable of two-hour or four-hour continuous net discharge power using grid-tied bi-directional inverters.

Battery systems for utilities support applications including peak shaving, load shifting and demand response while offering renewable firming and a range of other grid services.




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