Quantcast

Elon Musk's Tesla Battery + SolarCity's Solar Systems = Clean Energy Future

Business

Following months of anticipation, Tesla founder Elon Musk last week unveiled a suite of batteries for homes and businesses that he says will "fundamentally change the way the world uses energy." And while this is huge news from the electric carmaker, the biggest initial impact it'll make will be for SolarCity and its customers looking to untether from Big Power.

A solar revolution? Here's why Tesla's Powerwall home battery is a really big deal for residential solar customers. Photo Credit: Solar City

The San Mateo, California-based solar supplier is the first in line to incorporate Tesla's new batteries, offering a "turnkey residential solar battery backup system" at a price point that's more than 60 percent less than previous solar power storage products, SolarCity announced.

SolarCity has already started taking orders for Tesla's residential batteries and will begin installations in October. According to Bloomberg, customers can prepay $5,000 for a nine-year lease on a 10 kilowatt-hour system. Customers can also buy the entire system for $7,140. The prices reportedly include installation, a maintenance agreement, the electrical inverter and control systems.

It's clear that the benefits of a solar battery system goes beyond having electricity after the sun sets or when the power is out. "It is vital that we advance the technologies that will lead to an affordable, decarbonized grid. The widespread availability of affordable battery storage will unlock the full potential of solar energy to contribute to this effort," wrote Musk's cousin/SolarCity co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Peter Rive in a blog post about the batteries. "I believe that the solar battery systems launched today will result in a record amount of batteries being deployed in the U.S., advancing our goal of ensuring a cleaner future for all."

Lyndon Rive (left) and Peter Rive are co-founders of SolarCity. Photo credit: SolarCity

For residential solar consumers, the Tesla Powerwall—a hybrid solar/battery, inverter and monitoring and control system—provides backup power when the grid is down and replaces "noisy, dirty fossil fuel generators with zero-emission storage technology," according to SolarCity.

Read page 1

Rive also wrote that customers could one day make money from their solar battery systems by opening it up to others. "Our customer contract explicitly contemplates the potential of these markets and creates a revenue-sharing opportunity for the customer," he wrote. "For utilities and grid operators, the technology is designed to enable remote-aggregated control of solar battery systems. I urge anyone reading this who is responsible for managing grid operations, and who is interested in procuring capacity, reactive power, or voltage management services deep in the distribution system to contact us."

It's no secret that both of Musk's energy-progressive companies (the multi-tasking entrepreneur is a chairman of SolarCity and its largest shareholder) are looking for ways to revolutionize rooftop solar as well as mitigate climate change by curbing the consumption of fossil fuels. Tesla's batteries potentially allows users to go completely off the grid with clean, green renewable energy.

SolarCity isn't just offering Tesla's latest game-changing gadget for residential customers. Businesses and government organizations can access the company's DemandLogic energy storage system which reduces energy costs by using stored electricity to reduce peak demand, while remote communities can tap into the GridLogic microgrid service that's ideal for places in the world that are vulnerable to power outages and high energy costs.

SolarCity is the largest solar power supplier for homes and businesses in the U.S. Last month, SolarCity activated a fund including an investment from Credit Suisse that is expected to finance more than $1 billion in commercial solar energy systems. This was only one month after Google committed $300 million to the company.

Solar power is growing at an incredible rate and will only spread as human-kind learns to better harness the sun's rays. “We have this handy fusion reactor in the sky called the sun," said Musk during Tesla's product announcement last week. "You don’t have to do anything, it just works—shows up every day and produces ridiculous amounts of power.”

Watch here:

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Solar Capacity in the U.S. Enough to Power 4 Million Homes

Lester Brown: The Great Energy Transition to Solar and Wind Is Underway

Renewables Beat Fossil Fuels Second Year in a Row

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Despite huge strides in improving the lives of children since 1989, many of the world's poorest are being left behind, the United Nations children's fund UNICEF warned Monday.

Read More Show Less
At least seven people have died in a Bangladesh pipeline explosion. Youtube screenshot

At least seven people were killed when a gas pipeline exploded in Bangladesh Sunday, and another 25 were injured, the Associated Press reported.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
The Shell Puget Sound Refinery in Anacortes, Washington. John Westrock / Flickr

The Washington Department of Ecology responded to an oil spill that took place Friday night when a Crowley Maritime Barge was transferring five million gallons of oil to the Shell Puget Sound Refinery, CNN reported.

Read More Show Less
Pixabay

By Claire L. Jarvis

A ruckus over biofuels has been brewing in Iowa.

Read More Show Less
Serena and Venus Williams have been known to follow a vegan diet. Edwin Martinez / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

By Whitney E. Akers

  • "The Game Changers" is a new documentary on Netflix that posits a vegan diet can improve athletic performance in professional athletes.

  • Limited studies available show that the type of diet — plant-based or omnivorous — doesn't give you an athletic advantage.

  • We talked to experts about what diet is the best for athletic performance.

Packed with record-setting athletes displaying cut physiques and explosive power, "The Game Changers," a new documentary on Netflix, has a clear message: Vegan is best.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
An illegally trafficked tiger skull and pelt. Ryan Moehring / USFWS

By John R. Platt

When it comes to solving problems related to wildlife trade, there are an awful lot of "sticky widgets."

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Franziska Spritzler, RD, CDE

Inflammation can be both good and bad.

On one hand, it helps your body defend itself from infection and injury. On the other hand, chronic inflammation can lead to weight gain and disease.

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Dan Nosowitz

It's no secret that the past few years have been disastrous for the American farming industry.

Read More Show Less