SolarCity Claims to Have “Over 395 Energy Storage Pilot Projects Under Contract”…Are Most Contracts With Current Tesla Owners?

4 years ago by Mark Kane 10

Tesla Roadster Hooked to SolarCity Install in Rabobank

Tesla Roadster Hooked to SolarCity Install in Rabobank

Tesla Motors’ battery packs are already being used in several brands of electric vehicles (Tesla, Mercedes, smart and Toyota) and have been used too, in altered form, as stationary energy storage with solar power stations provided by SolarCity. The two companies (Tesla and SolarCity) are linked through Elon Musk and his cousin, Lyndon Rive, CEO of SolarCity.

Tesla Motors energy storage module for SolarCity

Tesla Motors energy storage module for SolarCity

Furthermore, SolarCity assists Tesla in the installations of solar setups for customers who choose to buy a Tesla vehicle.  SolarCity claims to have done more than 1,950 such installations.

A relatively new and very promising area of ​​cooperation for both Tesla and SolarCity is stationary energy storage, which SolarCity offers in addition to the photovoltaic systems. For now, a small 8-kWh wall-mounted Tesla energy storage unit is offered with a 10-year warranty. In its quarterly report, SolarCity admitted that it already booked 395 of these 8-kWh installations .

“We currently have over 395 energy storage pilot projects under contract.”

According to a Bloomberg article, SolarCity will likely perform 100 installations.  In 10 years, prices should drop to a level that will result in all-around viability of the product.

It’ll be a viable product in the next ten years.  We don’t know yet how big the next phase is going to be, but this is a long term investment, full stop.  We will solve the storage issue.”

Is there a storage issue?  Perhaps.  And if solar is the future, then solving this might be the key…maybe not.  Thoughts?

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10 responses to "SolarCity Claims to Have “Over 395 Energy Storage Pilot Projects Under Contract”…Are Most Contracts With Current Tesla Owners?"

  1. GeorgeS says:

    Obviously there is a storage issue with PV and wind as they need 100% back up from the grid. Thus you are in essence installing twice the capacity you need. Low cost storage is a solution, sort of. My solar PV installation was pretty darned expensive and it’s grid tied with no battery backup. Even lead acid battery backup added too much cost to the system for me to afford.

    The Germans are trying hard to solve the problem. They are going with CHP back up. A slightly different way to go. However I can’t get to excited about having an ICE in my basement.

    Maybe someday solid oxide fuel cells will offer a better alternative to ICE CHP.

    1. Mark H says:

      Power companies are willing to offer price reduction incentives to customers who use less power during peak demand, but complain about solar energy offered during peak. Not only has our state of NC gunned down phone and internet conversations from potential Tesla customers but have put forth bills to cancel the 2007 renewable energy policies. I will spend the money for a backup system before I dump my PV energy on the grid for free. Hopefully the EV market as suggested in this article will aide in progressing future PV storage solutions as well. This all ends well but man there are some battles to be fought along the way.

      1. GeorgeS says:

        Mark H,
        Move to Arizona. I can back feed my solar PV back into the grid and get a 1 to 1 credit in my kwh bank account. I can then draw these same kwh’s back out at no charge.

        1. Mark H says:

          Hey George
          I can too currently but they are talking of removing the credit. Currently I buy power at .11 cents/kwh and sell at .20 cents/kwh. This is more than generous and I am more than happy with the 1 to 1 credit. I have three years left in a five year contract so I will worry about it then. Going from too much to too little is just politics. I really prefer the symbiotic grid tie relationship with the power company especially as the smart grid evolves. Utility companies are so used to functioning as a monopoly that any other relationship just freaks them out. For now I am capturing a lot of the Carolina blue sky and my EV loves it!

          1. GeorgeS says:

            Sounds like we need to sick the Arizona Corporation Commission after them….:)

  2. Anthony says:

    The 10-year time horizon seems right, since thats how long it’ll take for solar power to be a large enough part of the grid where you will need storage to smooth out generation.

  3. MrEnergyCzar says:

    That’s a very small battery back-up, can run the average home for a couple hours unless they are doing deep discharges on it….. Even my net-zero solar home uses about 10 kwh per day and that’s without counting the Volt’s needs…

    MrEnergyCzar

  4. zilm says:

    I wonder what price does it have

  5. Bonaire says:

    If it is for standby power, these units are way too expensive compared to generators and small subpanels with select circuits in the home.

    If it is to store power to then charge an EV, then it is even worse as using batteries to charge other batteries is pretty poor use of batteries.

    There are advances in solar products now that include grid tied systems outputting actual power during sun-up hours such as the SMA 3KW-5KW TL models which don’t cost any more than the existing non-TL units. PowerOne also has a power unit hub similar to the Tesla unit coming out in late 2013.

    Power storage of renewables is good but very expensive. It’s a great hobby or for the off-gridder. Lithium packs which drop in price will make off-grid living a bit more affordable with less maintenance of the batteries. They do need to try to use safe chemistries, like LiFEPO4 rather than Li-Poly. If someone were to put in a problematic cell, lithium has been known for its thermal-runaway issues (Boeing, Volt NHTSA tests, hobby-grade fires, etc)

  6. Perhaps Germany’s conservative government understands that developing renewable solar energy energy is currently responsible for11 percentof America’s domestic energy production” is going to go long on bred heifers, which seems quite unachievable. I want to give the number, we have reclassified these investments as long-term as of March 31 to 83% of par value.