Tesla is taking the expertise it developed in creating batteries for its electric cars and scaling it up for homes and businesses.
Tesla Energy, a new business of Elon Musk’s Tesla, was formally revealed Thursday evening. “Tesla is not just an automotive company, it’s an energy innovation company,” the company said in a statement. “Tesla Energy is a critical step in this mission to enable zero emission power generation.”
Tesla Energy says that, starting late this summer, it’ll begin selling two sizes of its Powerwall Home Battery. For homes, a 7kWh (kilowatt-hour) wall-mounted battery will run $3,000, and a 10kWh model $3,500. The prices don’t include installation or an inverter. They do include the battery, “liquid thermal control system and software,” plus a ten-year warranty.
Uses Tesla envisions include whole-home backup power, and storing energy for later use (either solar generated or, presumably, as a reserve from the local grid, charging the battery when electric rates are lower). It says the larger size is designed for backup when the power grid goes down, and the smaller 7kWh model is better for daily use paired with solar power. Multiple batteries can be installed in a single home.
The vision for the rechargeable lithium-ion battery packs doesn’t just stop with the home. Larger batteries are offered for businesses, and for utilities themselves.
Amazon Web Services is among the companies (including Target and Jackson Family Wines) said to be piloting Tesla Energy batteries.
“We’re excited to roll out a 4.8 megawatt hour pilot of Tesla’s energy storage batteries in our U.S. West (Northern California) Region,” said James Hamilton, distinguished engineer at AWS, in a statement. “We’ve been working closely with Tesla for the past year to drive innovative applications of high-capacity battery technology in data center applications with the ultimate goal of reducing the technical barriers limiting widespread adoption of renewables in the grid,”
Tesla is taking reservations for residential Powerwall batteries on its website.