Battery tech giant Tesla is always in the news and having increasing influence in energy efficiency in Australia. But what are their latest projects and how will they affect Australian consumers? These projects include Tesla batteries for South Australia, the Tiny House and Powerpacks for business.
In their latest earnings report, Tesla announced total revenue was around US$2.68 billion. This was up from 11 percent in the previous quarter.
Tesla is also on track to meet the 100-day deployment deadline of the 100MW/129MWh lithium-ion battery project in South Australia – the biggest battery in the world.
Tesla promises a future of more revenue from solar energy storage and generation. In fact, 11 percent of the quarter’s revenue came from the Tesla Energy division. Alongside a huge lithium battery in South Australia and smart homes, there is a host of other energy efficiency products for households to discover.
Tesla batteries: The world’s largest lithium-ion battery
As reported by ABC news, Elon Musk, billionaire founder of Tesla, will build the world’s largest lithium-ion battery to store renewable energy in South Australia. The 129MWh battery, paired with a wind farm, should improve the security of electricity supplies across South Australia. Premier Jay Weatherill confirmed the deal, which is a major part of the government’s $550m energy plan.
The state government said Musk confirmed his promise on Twitter in March. He said he could deliver the battery within 100 days of signing the contract. If this doesn’t happen, he will deliver it free. Musk told reporters in Adelaide that there are technical challenges, but it would be the largest battery installation in the world “by a significant margin”.
So how’s it going? According to the Daily Mail, the battery was half-way complete in October this year. “The batteries are on track to be operational by December 1,” South Australian Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis told Reuters.
No more blackouts? Better energy efficiency?
Grid-scale solar battery storage could help regulate price spikes, stop blackouts and improve reliability. Blackouts in South Australia in September 2016 caused political fighting over energy policy. The federal government is blaming the failures on renewable technologies. After a blackout in early February, the Australian Energy Market Operator said higher demand played a role.
The Climate Council’s Tim Flannery said South Australia was leading the charge on Australia’s move to renewable energy and storage technology.
“South Australia is tackling climate change head-on. It should be congratulated for its innovation and leadership as it transforms our energy system into one that’s clean, affordable, efficient and secure,” he said.
Tesla Tiny House on rolling solar tour of Oz
Tesla has a new way to show the possibilities of its home solar products to potential customers. It can tow the “Tiny House” on a rolling tour with a Tesla Model X. The Tesla Tiny House will welcome visitors at Melbourne’s Federation Square. Then it will head off on an Australian tour.
As reported in TechCrunch, the towable Tiny House is similar to the mobile design studio introduced last September. This was a modified Airstream that let people build their own Tesla vehicle as a kind of mobile virtual studio. These solar-focused trailers also feature mobile design studios and design systems. Tesla’s solar products include solar panels and its Powerwall energy efficiency storage battery.
The Tiny House uses sustainable timber with no artificial chemical treatments. It weighs 2 tonnes and has six solar panels generating 2kW. These feed the single Powerwall battery on the side. The popular Tesla batteries can be installed with a regular home solar system or even retrofitted to existing systems.
The Tiny House is touring every major Australian city, while smaller town residents can also request a visit.
New energy efficiency markets
Will the Tiny House convince Australian customers? On the business side, Tesla is also building a huge renewable energy power storage facility using its Powerpack batteries. This will be the largest such facility in the world. The news comes as Tesla continues to expand into new energy efficiency market sectors. It wants to bring solar technology to the education sector, along with private businesses.
For example, Cathedral College in Rockhampton joins other Australian schools that have been implementing Tesla Energy products. They are a way to cut energy costs and further a commitment to protecting the environment by using sustainable energy.
Overseas, the College of Marin in Marin County, California, installed five 480-kilowatt Tesla Powerpacks. This could lead to savings of up to $10,000 a month for the school. The community college received the Powerpacks for free as part of an energy program involving Tesla batteries. Tesla received $5.3 million in state and utility incentives to help fund the construction, installation and upkeep of the batteries.
It seems Tesla’s commitment to ongoing energy efficiency projects across the globe is set to grow and grow.