Tesla, the American electric vehicle maker and energy technology company, will launch its new Tesla Energy program in Australia later this year.
Tesla Energy was first announced in May, alongside the company’s new Powerwall home battery pack that would soon be made available in America as a means of storing sustainable and renewable energy.
In basic terms, the Tesla Powerwall is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that stores energy for load shifting, back-up power and self-consumption of solar power generation.
Its design, as with similar systems offered by other companies, allows customers to charge the battery during periods of the day that demand little power, using the energy later when demand is higher.
The Powerwall had initially been scheduled for an Australian launch in the first quarter of 2016. This week, however, Tesla has revealed that our market has been prioritised as one of the first Tesla Energy markets, right alongside North America, Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
That means that Australian buyers will have access to the Powerwall from late 2015, available through local Tesla Energy partners.
The decision to launch early in Australia is due to the rapid uptake of solar panel technology here, particularly in view of the reduced or cancelled feed-in tariffs that now exist where once there had been generous mandatory rates.
The Powerwall will initially be available here as a 7kWh daily cycle model, with a 10kWh version to follow.
In both cases, users will be able to store solar energy produced during peak sunlight hours, with a continuous and peak output of 3.3kW. That energy can then be used during night hours, rather than purchasing power at retail prices.
The system can likewise be used with the local grid, charging when rates are low and discharging when they are higher.
Local pricing for the Powerwall is still to be confirmed, but in the US, it is priced at US$3000 ($4170) for the 7kWh unit and US$3500 ($5280) for the 10kW version.
The Powerwall will be offered through local partners, which will include major utility companies and solar technology suppliers.
Announcements for available options are expected to be made in the coming weeks.