Home >Companies >Tesla’s Elon Musk unveils batteries for home, businesses, utilities

San Francisco: Tesla Motors Inc. chief executive officer Elon Musk unveiled a suite of batteries to store electricity for homes, businesses and utilities, saying a greener power grid furthers the company’s mission to provide pollution-free energy.

“Our goal here is to fundamentally change the way the world uses energy," Musk said at a press briefing in Hawthorne, California. “We’re talking at the terawatt scale. The goal is complete transformation of the entire energy infrastructure of the world."

The announcement, after weeks of anticipation, marks Tesla’s expansion beyond electric cars. As homes, businesses and utilities use more renewable energy generated by sunshine and wind, the need to provide reliable power grows. Batteries can be used to store electricity during peak production times, and then dispense it later when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.

Tesla’s home battery, named “Powerwall," is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that mounts on the wall and comes in 7 kilowatt-hour or 10 kilowatt-hour versions, the company said in a statement. Deliveries will begin in late summer and the price starts from $3,000, Tesla said.

The company’s utility-scale battery will consist of 100 kilowatt-hour blocks that can be grouped to a scale of 500 kilowatt-hours to more than 10 megawatt-hours.

The power industry has struggled to come up with a cost- effective energy-storage solution, an issue that has become more pressing as growing amounts of solar and wind are integrated into the grid. Palo Alto, California-based Tesla is making a bet that its $5 billion “gigafactory" under construction near Reno, Nevada, will enable the mass production needed to drive down battery costs for both cars and energy-storage products that are already serving as a revenue stream for the company.

Wal-Mart, Cargill

Tesla batteries are already supplying large customers like Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Cargill Inc., and Jackson Family Wines.

In the utility industry, storage is finally coming of age. In Tesla’s home state of California, a groundbreaking energy- storage mandate requires PG&E Corp., Edison International’s Southern California Edison and Sempra Energy’s San Diego Gas and Electric to collectively buy 1.3 gigawatts of energy storage capacity by the end of 2020. New York is also turning to storage to relieve congestion on transmission lines and plans for the potential retirement of aging power plants. Bloomberg

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