Friday, May 01, 2015

We have seen the future, and the future is stored energy — Part 3

Tesla CEO Elon Musk Unveils Home Battery; Is $3,000 Cheap Enough?

BILL CHAPPELL, NPR

In an ambitious bid to move beyond the electric car market, Tesla has announced that it will start selling large batteries to let homeowners store electricity. The Powerwall home battery starts at $3,000.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the new batteries Thursday night, in a move that had been both highly anticipated and the subject of much speculation. With a sleek surface and a depth of only about 7 inches, the Powerwall can be mounted on a garage wall or another surface, indoors or outside. It's roughly 4 feet high and 3 feet wide.

Explaining the company's strategy of using solar power, Musk said: "We have this handy fusion reactor in the sky, called the sun. You don't have to do anything; it just works."

The unit is geared toward homeowners who want to do any combination of three things: store backup power, minimize peak-time use of utilities' electricity and get off the commercial power grid entirely.

The Powerwall is seen as having particular allure for people who have (or want) solar panels. The large battery could supply or supplement the energy a household requires when the sun's not out.

On its Powerwall website, Tesla says:
"The average home uses more electricity in the morning and evening than during the day when solar energy is plentiful. Without a home battery, excess solar energy is often sold to the power company and purchased back in the evening. This mismatch adds demand on power plants and increases carbon emissions."
Tesla is taking orders for the batteries now, Musk says, adding that the first deliveries will be made in three to four months.

(Continued here.)

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