While reports say Apple's project with Tesla was quietly approved last year, Apple has just officially announced that it's building a battery energy storage facility at its solar farm in Northern California. The solar farm has been in play since 2015, though the announcement about the use of Tesla's battery tech is brand new.
According to reports, Apple will acquire 85 lithium-ion Tesla Megapacks for the project. The company says the system will be capable of storing some 240 megawatt-hours of energy, some of which will be used to power its headquarters in Cupertino.
The Verge first reported that the project was approved in 2020 by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors. The publication says the project was officially confirmed by the county's planning chief via email, though Apple and Tesla have yet to respond to The Verge. However, Apple VP Lisa Jackson shared with Reuters this week:
“The challenge with clean energy — solar and wind — is that it’s by definition intermittent. If we can do it, and we can show that it works for us, it takes away the concerns about intermittency and it helps the grid in terms of stabilization. It’s something that can be imitated or built upon by other companies.”
In other words, renewable energy is the way to go, but a means to store the captured energy is paramount. While there are other companies that offer home battery storage systems and larger systems for corporate use, Tesla is one of the only mainstream companies truly touting new energy and battery storage systems. Its megapack has proven successful in various parts of the world. Apple seems to know where to look when it comes to battery storage.
Whether you see Apple and Tesla as partners, rivals, friends, or foes, it makes perfect sense for Apple to work with Tesla on battery storage.
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