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Powerwall residential battery with solar panels. Tesla

Tesla's plans to build the world's largest virtual power plant in South Australia will proceed after all.

The $800 million (US $634 million) project—struck in February by Tesla CEO Elon Musk and former South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill—involves installing solar panels and batteries on 50,000 homes to function as an interconnected power plant.

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Nissan Energy Solar

Nissan, the maker of the world's top-selling electric vehicle, officially rolled out on Thursday a seamless solar energy and battery storage system for homes in the UK.

The venture, called Nissan Energy Solar, allows homeowners to generate, store and charge EVs with their own renewable energy, which can reduce household energy bills by an estimated 66 percent, the company touts.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Tesla's Powerpack battery system in South Australia is charged by a nearby wind farm. Tesla

Since switching on in December, Tesla's massive battery in South Australia has already drastically lowered prices in the region's frequency and ancillary services market (FCAS) and has taken a major share of that market, Renew Economy reported.

During Australian Energy Week, McKinsey and Co. partner Godart van Gendt boasted about the stunning efficiency of the 100-megawatt Powerpack system, which is connected to Neoen's Hornsdale wind farm.

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A learning garden from Kimbal Musk's nonprofit called Big Green. The Kitchen Community

Kimbal Musk's nonprofit organization, The Kitchen Community, is expanding into a new, national nonprofit called Big Green, to build hundreds of outdoor Learning Garden classrooms across America.

Learning Gardens teach children an understanding of food, healthy eating and garden skills through experiential learning and garden-based education that tie into existing school curriculum, such as math, science and literacy.

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Solar energy panels and wind turbines in Shanghai, China. Chinaface / Getty Images

Facebook announced Tuesday it will slash greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent and transition global operations to 100 percent renewable energy by the end of 2020 in efforts to "help fight climate change."

Similarly, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted over the weekend that his company's enormous Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada will run entirely on Tesla Solar by the end of 2019.

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When Angad Daryani was a child in Mumbai, he used to suffer from the air pollution there. "Growing up, I had asthma," he told CNN in a profile Wednesday. "I used to have a lot of breathing problems growing up in India."

Now, at the ripe old age of 19, he is working on an invention that could filter pollutants from the air of city skies and help other children breathe easier.

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DuKai Photographer / Moment / Getty Images

By Venkat Viswanathan, Shashank Sripad and William Leif Fredericks

As electric cars and trucks appear increasingly on U.S. highways, it raises the question: When will commercially viable electric vehicles take to the skies? There are a number of ambitious efforts to build electric-powered airplanes, including regional jets and planes that can cover longer distances. Electrification is starting to enable a type of air travel that many have been hoping for, but haven't seen yet—a flying car.

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Tesla's Gigafactory 1 photographed in January 2017

Tesla has started building a massive rooftop solar array on top of its Gigafactory 1 (GF1) outside Sparks, Nevada.

Once finished, the 70-megawatt system will be the largest in the world by far; the current record-holder is the comparatively shrimpy 11.5-megawatt array in India that can power 8,000 homes.

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Trending

Mario Gutiérrez / Getty Images

By Jim Motavalli

The future of the auto industry is increasingly likely to be electric—although you wouldn't necessarily know that from sales numbers. Just under 200,000 plug-in cars were sold in the United States last year (out of a new-car market of 17.25 million). In California, cars with plugs made up 4.6 percent of the new-car market in 2017, while nationwide the number increased only slightly, to 1.16 percent of total auto sales. But 2018 is shaping up to be better, with 36 percent higher EV sales in the first four months than in the same period the previous year.

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Ta'u, an island in American Samoa, runs nearly 100 percent on renewable energy thanks to Tesla technology. Photo credit: Tesla

Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló responded positively to Tesla CEO Elon Musk's offer to help restore the island's hurricane-wrecked power grid with the company's batteries and solar panels.

"Let's talk," the governor tweeted to Musk Thursday evening. "Do you want to show the world the power and scalability of your #TeslaTechnologies? PR could be that flagship project."

Read More Show Less
SpaceX

By Andrew Maynard

Elon Musk has a plan, and it's about as audacious as they come. Not content with living on our pale blue dot, Musk and his company SpaceX want to colonize Mars, fast. They say they'll send a duo of supply ships to the red planet within five years. By 2024, they're aiming to send the first humans. From there they have visions of building a space port, a city and, ultimately, a planet they'd like to "geoengineer" to be as welcoming as a second Earth.

If he succeeds, Musk could thoroughly transform our relationship with our solar system, inspiring a new generation of scientists and engineers along the way. But between here and success, Musk and SpaceX will need to traverse an unbelievably complex risk landscape.

Read More Show Less
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Powerwall residential battery with solar panels. Tesla

Tesla's plans to build the world's largest virtual power plant in South Australia will proceed after all.

The $800 million (US $634 million) project—struck in February by Tesla CEO Elon Musk and former South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill—involves installing solar panels and batteries on 50,000 homes to function as an interconnected power plant.

Read More Show Less
Nissan Energy Solar

Nissan, the maker of the world's top-selling electric vehicle, officially rolled out on Thursday a seamless solar energy and battery storage system for homes in the UK.

The venture, called Nissan Energy Solar, allows homeowners to generate, store and charge EVs with their own renewable energy, which can reduce household energy bills by an estimated 66 percent, the company touts.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Tesla's Powerpack battery system in South Australia is charged by a nearby wind farm. Tesla

Since switching on in December, Tesla's massive battery in South Australia has already drastically lowered prices in the region's frequency and ancillary services market (FCAS) and has taken a major share of that market, Renew Economy reported.

During Australian Energy Week, McKinsey and Co. partner Godart van Gendt boasted about the stunning efficiency of the 100-megawatt Powerpack system, which is connected to Neoen's Hornsdale wind farm.

Read More Show Less
A learning garden from Kimbal Musk's nonprofit called Big Green. The Kitchen Community

Kimbal Musk's nonprofit organization, The Kitchen Community, is expanding into a new, national nonprofit called Big Green, to build hundreds of outdoor Learning Garden classrooms across America.

Learning Gardens teach children an understanding of food, healthy eating and garden skills through experiential learning and garden-based education that tie into existing school curriculum, such as math, science and literacy.

Read More Show Less

Solar energy panels and wind turbines in Shanghai, China. Chinaface / Getty Images

Facebook announced Tuesday it will slash greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent and transition global operations to 100 percent renewable energy by the end of 2020 in efforts to "help fight climate change."

Similarly, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted over the weekend that his company's enormous Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada will run entirely on Tesla Solar by the end of 2019.

Read More Show Less

When Angad Daryani was a child in Mumbai, he used to suffer from the air pollution there. "Growing up, I had asthma," he told CNN in a profile Wednesday. "I used to have a lot of breathing problems growing up in India."

Now, at the ripe old age of 19, he is working on an invention that could filter pollutants from the air of city skies and help other children breathe easier.

Read More Show Less

DuKai Photographer / Moment / Getty Images

By Venkat Viswanathan, Shashank Sripad and William Leif Fredericks

As electric cars and trucks appear increasingly on U.S. highways, it raises the question: When will commercially viable electric vehicles take to the skies? There are a number of ambitious efforts to build electric-powered airplanes, including regional jets and planes that can cover longer distances. Electrification is starting to enable a type of air travel that many have been hoping for, but haven't seen yet—a flying car.

Read More Show Less
Tesla's Gigafactory 1 photographed in January 2017

Tesla has started building a massive rooftop solar array on top of its Gigafactory 1 (GF1) outside Sparks, Nevada.

Once finished, the 70-megawatt system will be the largest in the world by far; the current record-holder is the comparatively shrimpy 11.5-megawatt array in India that can power 8,000 homes.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Mario Gutiérrez / Getty Images

By Jim Motavalli

The future of the auto industry is increasingly likely to be electric—although you wouldn't necessarily know that from sales numbers. Just under 200,000 plug-in cars were sold in the United States last year (out of a new-car market of 17.25 million). In California, cars with plugs made up 4.6 percent of the new-car market in 2017, while nationwide the number increased only slightly, to 1.16 percent of total auto sales. But 2018 is shaping up to be better, with 36 percent higher EV sales in the first four months than in the same period the previous year.

Read More Show Less
Ta'u, an island in American Samoa, runs nearly 100 percent on renewable energy thanks to Tesla technology. Photo credit: Tesla

Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló responded positively to Tesla CEO Elon Musk's offer to help restore the island's hurricane-wrecked power grid with the company's batteries and solar panels.

"Let's talk," the governor tweeted to Musk Thursday evening. "Do you want to show the world the power and scalability of your #TeslaTechnologies? PR could be that flagship project."

Read More Show Less
SpaceX

By Andrew Maynard

Elon Musk has a plan, and it's about as audacious as they come. Not content with living on our pale blue dot, Musk and his company SpaceX want to colonize Mars, fast. They say they'll send a duo of supply ships to the red planet within five years. By 2024, they're aiming to send the first humans. From there they have visions of building a space port, a city and, ultimately, a planet they'd like to "geoengineer" to be as welcoming as a second Earth.

If he succeeds, Musk could thoroughly transform our relationship with our solar system, inspiring a new generation of scientists and engineers along the way. But between here and success, Musk and SpaceX will need to traverse an unbelievably complex risk landscape.

Read More Show Less
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Tesla's massive Powerpack battery system in South Australia is charged by a nearby wind farm. Tesla

Tesla's massive lithium-ion battery storage facility, which was designed to feed South Australia's unstable power grid, is already proving itself by responding to power outages within milliseconds.

The system—the largest of its kind on planet Earth—was tested twice just this month. According to CleanTechnica, on Dec. 14, the Loy Yang coal power plant in the neighboring state of Victoria suddenly went offline. Remarkably, the Hornsdale Power Reserve battery system (the Tesla system's official name) kicked in within 140 milliseconds and injected 100 megawatts of power into the grid.

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Tesla's Powerpack system paired with solar, like the one shown here in Hawaii, helps provide sustainable energy around the clock. Tesla
Tesla's massive Powerpack battery system in South Australia is charged by a nearby wind farm. Tesla
The 40-stall "Mega" Supercharger station in Kettleman City, California. Tesla

Range anxiety—the fear that an electric vehicle has an insufficient charge to reach its destination—is one of the most common, but fair, concerns about EVs. Just think, what if you and your car get stuck in the middle of a desert and have nowhere close by to juice up? Ultimately, if we want to spread the adoption of zero-emission vehicles, then we're going to have to make them easier to charge.

That's why Tesla's latest additions to its Supercharger network is kind of a big deal. On Wednesday, the electric automaker revealed it has opened its largest Supercharger stations in the U.S. to date, according to a news release provided to EcoWatch. The 40-stall stations in Kettleman City, Calif. and Baker, Calif. each feature covered solar parking and the Tesla Powerpack System.

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Tesla/Electrek

Many people might balk at the idea of living in a home that's the size of a treehouse, but Tesla, Inc. just created a tiny house fit for its larger-than-life CEO, Elon Musk.

The Tesla Tiny House is currently being towed on the back of a Model X around Australia to exhibit the company's products and to teach the public how to generate, store and use renewable energy for their own home, according to Electrek.

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www.youtube.com
Tesla's Powerpack system in South Australia. Tesla
www.youtube.com

This was a year of tug-of-war for the environment. With Donald Trump becoming president of the U.S. at a time when wildfires, hurricanes, and floods were devastating the country, it was challenging for scientists, activists and concerned citizens to get their voices heard. But several stood out as global leaders on climate and helped give rise to those who were silenced. Below are 14 of the most notable influencers of 2017 and how they fought for a cleaner, safer environment for all.

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Tesla

Earlier this month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk offered to help restore Puerto Rico's hurricane-wrecked power grid with the company's batteries and solar panels. Gov. Ricardo Rosselló responded positively.

Making good on the promise, Tesla has switched on a combination of its solar panels and Powerpack commercial energy storage batteries for Hospital del Niño, a children's hospital in San Juan. The Puerto Rican capital was hit especially hard by Hurricane Maria.

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A home with a Powerwall 2 and solar panels. Tesla
Storage solutions, such as Tesla's Powerwall domestic battery, are "moving from the grid to the garage to the landing at home." Tesla Motors
www.youtube.com
A rendering of the Aurora Solar Thermal Plant. SolarReserve

South Australia—home to the world's largest battery—is one step closer to also hosting the world's largest solar thermal power plant following developmental approval from the state government.

California-based SolarReserve is behind the $650 million, 150-megawatt "Aurora" project that will be located 30 kilometers north of Port Augusta.

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Tesla solar roof.

Elon Musk announced via Twitter this morning that Tesla is opening orders for the company's highly anticipated solar roof tiles.

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