There were no robot arms or jetpacks to go along with Elon Musk’s big home battery pack announcement, formally called Tesla Energy. But what the Tesla CEO has proposed could spark a green energy revolution that transforms the planet for the better.
I’ll save you all that fanfare for now though, and get right to the nitty gritty. After talking about how few solar panels and batteries it would take to get the US off of fossil fuel-generated electricity, Elon Musk presented the 1Powerwall in 7 kWh and 10 kWh flavors, a home battery system for solar panels priced at between $3,000 and $3,500 for installers. It appears earlier reports got some details right, and others wrong (for example, the rumored 15 kWh battery option).
Deliveries of the Powerwall Home Battery will begin in three or four months, with a slow rollout at first, but ambitious plans to ramp up production once the Gigafactory (which will almost certainly run on solar power) opens up. The compact and slick-looking battery packs can be mounted on the wall, as implied by the name, and linked together in banks of up to nine units. Thats 90 kWh for energy for the mathematically challenged (no judgement, I suck at math too).
Musk didn’t stop there either, going on to discuss Tesla battery systems for businesses and even utility-scale projects (called the Powerpack), offering 100 kWh stacks that can be linked together to offer between 500 kWh and 10+ MWh. During the event, the Tesla CEO revealed that the entire event was being powered by Tesla Energy using captured solar power, and the press release reveals a long list of well-known companies that have already partnered with Tesla to power their businesses. Target, EnerNoc, and Amazon join utilities like Southern California Edison and and OnCor in partnering with Tesla on clean energy storage. The Tesla CEO also made remarks about how this business model could positively impact developing areas where reliable power is hard to come by.
This huge announcement had Musk in particularly high spirits, as he was wearing a big grin and laughing a lot as he presented an ambitious plan to turn the whole world onto green energy. In typical Musk fashion, the presentation started almost an hour late (woe to us East Coasters), but the news he delivered was both expected, and well worth the wait. He declared that like Tesla’s EV patents, the patents relating to Tesla Energy and the Powerwall would be open for other companies either.
He acknowledged that the 2 billion or so batteries needed to take the world off of fossil fuels would require the combined efforts of multiple companies. But as Musk noted, this is well within humanity’s ability to do, as we’ve already built some 2 billion cars and trucks that clog our atmosphere with emissions every day. This guy believes in the human ability to build some pretty impressive shit, to hell with the naysayers who think it can’t be done.
The game plan is ambitious, but it always has been. If he succeeds, Elon Musk will be credited with ushering in a green energy revolution. Tesla has become so much more than just another automaker with this move, and Musk is going all-in with his gamble on a better tomorrow.