Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors, has ensured that his company is more than just a car company. If anything, Tesla Motors is a battery company, selling its lithium-ion battery packs to the likes of Toyota, Daimler, and now SolarCity, installer of solar panels. The two companies have been working for the past couple of years to deliver a completely off-the-grid solar home package.
Right now, most solar panel systems are hooked back into the grid and shutdown in case of a power outage to prevent the electrocution of linemen. The only way around this is to buy a seperate battery backup, a costly proposition for most homeowners (the workaround to this is buying and linking together a bunch of car batteries).
Tesla has teamed with SolarCity by providing battery packs linked to solar panels, creating truly “off-the-grid” homes. The two have put in applications for more than 70 separate projects, which could see whole clusters of homes linked together via Tesla batteries and SolarCity solar panels. In the event of an outage, homes equipped with these Tesla/Solarcity packages will not lose power, as they are not plugged into the grid.
It’s not only a form of energy security, but a great way to bundle together solar panel packages and nab big discounts. I will hopefully be a homeowner very soon, and I have looked into solar panels for my new home. Even though the house is small, and with a big group discount, the cost is still intimidating to say the least, and that is without a battery backup.
Mayhaps more homes in the future will get on the off-the-grid; I know that, had the price been working into my mortgage, the extra few bucks a month would have been more than worth it. But having to pay out of pocket? It’s a more bitter pill to swallow.