Tesla Powerwall Orders Piling Up In Midwest

2 months ago by Mark Kane 45

Tesla

Tesla Powerwall

The Tesla Powerwall (energy storage system) is getting more and more interest from Midwest, where consumers would also like to store solar surplus electricity, and have backup power.

Tesla Powerwall

As a case in point, St. Paul-based All Energy Solar, one of the first in the country offer Tesla Powerwall installations, has all the business it can handle.

Why?  The reason is fairly straight-forward:

“When the sun goes down, our house is still using energy generated from our solar panels. It is a good feeling knowing the energy is clean energy,” said Ross Starfeldt, a homeowner in Bloomington.

A dozen or so Tesla storage systems have already been installed in the Twin Cities, but All Energy has another 50 customers waiting patiently for their turn next.

Brian Allen, co-founder of All Energy Solar explains that the costs of battery energy storage decreased enough to spark interest.

“Energy storage has been top of mind for a lot of solar energy customers, but cost has always been a driving factor. We’re now to the point where energy storage makes a lot more sense.”

“Allen started having conversations with Tesla about ­Powerwall two years ago, he said. The company submitted an application to become a certified installer and the company went through a “full-on vetting,” Allen said. Last year, he and a master electrician were allowed to attend an out-of-state training session at Tesla. All Energy began installing Powerwall batteries just two months ago.”

The costs of having the Tesla Powerwall varies. The base unit costs $6,200 with supporting hardware, while typical installation cost ranges from $800 to $2,000.

source: Star Tribune

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45 responses to "Tesla Powerwall Orders Piling Up In Midwest"

  1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

    The power companies are going to start throwing higher connection fees for these users.

    Prepare for them to grease the politicians hands for approval to increase rates and lobby for legislation against these types of technologies.

    1. Hauer says:

      Well in the EU we now have laws that force the power companies to REDUCE the amount of power they sell to us. So downstairs there is an offer the POWER COMPANY made to me for a solar panel installation for my roof.
      Waiting for alternative ernate offer and info on powerwall availability.

    2. Bonaire says:

      One thing grid suppliers will want is solar PV users to actually install batteries and cycle them daily. This will increase the sales of kWh from the grid. If your solar PV supplies 40 kWh per day and you net meter the excesses, the 40 kWh gets turned into 34 kWh due to 15% round trip charging/discharging losses so the grid now can sell you another 6 kWh. So, I cannot see why a power company would rail against batteries. I suppose they want to support them. Glad to see you helping out cut peak demand and also buy an additional few kWh per day from the grid.

      1. Djoni says:

        Your assuming that supplier will sell you more electricity, if you reduce your consumption?

        Doesn’t make sense to me.

        1. DJ says:

          What he’s saying is that your household use stays the same at 40 but if you use a battery the 40 your PV system generated during the day doesn’t actually get you 40 to consume because of the losses in charging up the battery.

          If you send excess power back to the grid you get the same amount back but if you put in a battery you need a little extra to fill in the gap.

    3. Kan says:

      You know these taxfunded hos all too well. The citizens answere is going to be more and more homes entirely off the grid.

  2. speculawyer says:

    I think Harvey, Irma, and Maria have been a very strong sales force for residential storage.

    1. James says:

      Yes, Harvey Irma and Maria are very convincing sales people I’m sure.

      In those winds, how to keep solar panels intact? A round or rounded home on pilings, yes, but even a Tesla solar roof can blow off.

      Here in the PNW, earthquake is the major concern. If the house or building is not standing, even a Powerwall don’t be of any value.

      1. Mark.ca says:

        If winds are projected to be over 130 miles/hour than the best thing you can do is take the panels off. It’s really not that hard.

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          So you are going to take those panels off every time there is a Tornado warning in effect in the area?

          Geez, talking about “not being that hard”…

          Maybe you are living in a single story gentle sloped house.

          But my Solar City panels aren’t that easy to remove from my 24 ft high roof. But I don’t have to worry about 130mph wind either.

          1. Mark.ca says:

            Talking about hurricanes only…Why would you worry about a tornado, your entire house will be gone anyway.
            Yes, 2 story gentle slope. Each panel is a plug in and attached in place by 2 bolts.

            1. ModernMarvelFan says:

              “Tesla Powerwall Orders Piling Up In Midwest”

              I am not aware of any 130mph wind in Midwest that aren’t caused by Tornado.

              1. Mark.ca says:

                Me neither….but I originally rely to James as he named a few recent hurricanes…

          2. Brave Lil' Toaster says:

            No, you’re not going to take the solar panels off if there’s a tornado warning, because if a tornado of any strength hits your house, you’re f***** anyway. Make an insurance claim and rebuild is the only thing you can do.

            But if a tornado hits the house down the street from you and takes out the power lines to the whole block, you’re at least going to have power. See how that works? You survive the storm, your freezer stays on. You don’t survive the storm, your freezer is toast anyway, so whether or not you have power is irrelevant.

          3. speculawyer says:

            With Tornadoes, you are screwed. You don’t have more than a few minutes warning. (I grew up in Minnesota.) But you have several days warning with a hurricane.

      2. Steven says:

        If your house is destroyed your HVAC is useless, so why even have one?

      3. speculawyer says:

        If you have your PV panels bolted hard to the racks and the racks deeply lag-bolted into rafters then they are likely not going anywhere unless it is a REALLY big hurricane that takes the whole roof off. I’ve seen roofs with parts of the roof & shingles gone but the solar PV panels still there.

        And if you know what you are doing, you really can unbolt the panels and put them in the house in a few hours if you think you are going to take a direct hit.

    2. Bacardi says:

      If you read the actual article, you’ll see they only started to take orders two months ago…Like most major metros, you have people who are interested in the latest products…One issue is that people think they can provide back power for a blackout, they can, but just single one isn’t going to get you power very long…After a storm the power can be down days or even weeks…Solar can help, but if you have natural gas lines in your house, you’re probably better off getting a generator and solar panels vs the batteries…

      1. mx says:

        Have you ever heard the noise and stink of a generator?
        This is the last thing a luxury homeowner, or first adaptor would want.

        1. rad says:

          With natural gas in the midwest, noise yes, stink, not so bad. And it is only for the duration of the power outage. I am sure a luxury home owner would prefer lights and stink to dark.

      2. speculawyer says:

        “they can, but just single one isn’t going to get you power very long…After a storm the power can be down days or even weeks…”

        Ideally, you have a solar PV system that can isolate itself from the grid and work with a battery system until the grid is fixed.

        And generally, you don’t power the whole house. You power a “critical loads” panel that powers your refrigerator, medical equipment, modem, router, & lights. Just the bare minimum you need to keep the food good & keep you going.

  3. DJ says:

    I don’t know what they’re getting quoted but the cheapest I have been quoted for a 1 powerwall system in Southern California is $10k and up to almost $13k. For a 2 powerwall system it’s $20k-$23k. I flat out asked one guy why it was so much more for the 2nd Powerwall when they supposedly cost $5,500 plus some shipping and the response was basically the demand. When they can only get their hands on say 20 of them why would they give you one of those at cost when they could sell it so someone else at the full markup. While I understand the reasoning it seems like some BS.

    Tesla Energy also seems like they don’t want to sell these things. They tell you that you have a 1 in 10 chance to get the CA SGIP rebate (which makes it a heck of a lot more affordable) and that you aren’t eligible for the 30% ITC even if you have a PV system and are adding on to it which every other installer I spoke with said wasn’t accurate. I understand that you’re not eligible for the ITC if you don’t have a PV system but adding it on doesn’t seem like it would be an issue.

    Oh, and on a side note they’re saying installs are likely mid-2018.

    1. Mark.ca says:

      I was quoted $12800 six months ago in SoCal so your deal is a steal…lol.

    2. ModernMarvelFan says:

      “Tesla Energy also seems like they don’t want to sell these things. They tell you that you have a 1 in 10 chance to get the CA SGIP rebate (which makes it a heck of a lot more affordable)”

      Very true! My experience as well. I even have Solar City panels already. As soon as I heard about SGIP rebates (which made it affordable and reasonable), I called Tesla Energy about it and they were super slow to get back to me and basically told me that there is no guarantee to get it and they are pretty much “sold out” for the year. It sounds like they aren’t making much of it at all.

      They were “happy” to sell me some new solar panels though.

      1. Mark.ca says:

        Did you look into the program? I actually was in advanced talks with a solar company to get one but they told me it’s actually quite hard to get the credit. There is also a requirement for your battery to give power to the grid in order to qualify for the program.

        1. DJ says:

          It’s really quite a convoluted program.

          Based on what I have learned (and I could be wrong) each utility has their own steps and in each of those steps each installer is allocated a certain % of the rebate (not sure if based on $ amount or installs). Tesla is kind of hosed right now on the SGIP rebates because they have such a backlog of people wanting a Powerwall through them. So if in each step Tesla gets say 100 installs they have already gone through their allocated (guaranteed in other words) amount and the rest is based on a lottery. Smaller installers however aren’t as impacted so they can guarantee that you’ll get the credit or give you the option to opt out of the contract if you don’t get it. I wonder if this ability to guarantee it is why everyone other than Tesla’s price is so high. Well that and until Tesla comes out and does a site inspection (which I think you pay for??) you don’t know what the actual install cost would be. It’s kind of like gambling if you ask me. Go with Tesla and likely have a lower cost but you don’t know if you’ll get the SGIP rebate until after you install the Powerwall or go with another installer and pay more but get the reassurance that you’ll get the SGIP or be able to opt out of it. You feeling lucky!?!?!?!

          In order to get the ITC you have to get 75% (at a minimum and I think 80% technically) of your power that goes in to your batteries from renewable, i.e. your solar panels. There was something I read saying it needed to be at least 80% a year and there was a 75% cliff but I figured 75/80 what’s the diff just make sure it’s above 80. You also have to agree to discharge your batteries fully 52 times a year.

          Initially I was thinking I’ll just buy a couple Powerwalls and charge them up at night on super off peak rates and then sell the power back to the grid mid-day during on-peak so that I can get a nice credit to use to power other things but technically if you get audited and you do that “bad things can happen”. Don’t know what those bad things are really but there is enough of a benefit for at least me to use solar to charge it up during the day and then consume at night so I wouldn’t risk it.

          Heck, while Tesla sold the Powerwall as a way to allow you to surf the rates (by charging at Super Off Peak and then consume during on-peak) the app actually doesn’t have that capability right now. Sure you can wake up in the middle of the night and change the app to tell it to charge and then when on-peak hits tell it to discharge but no thanks. Supposedly this feature they sold it on will be made available later this year/early next year.

          If you’re serious about it I would suggest you find your local SGIP office and give them a call. The program is really not very well documented but those guys seem to have a pretty good handle on it assuming what they’ve told me is accurate 😀

          Initially I thought this was a no brainer but the more I read up on it and the costs that everyone but Tesla (as I’m not a gambling man) is quoting it may not be worth it for me. At the Tesla price and factoring in the SGIP and ITC payback is roughly 2-3 years but for the others it’s 5-9 years for 1 Powerwall and a little less for 2 (and that’s in my case with the utterly ridiculous TOU rates SDGE charges). I suspect that SCE, DWP, etc. as they don’t have as obscene of a difference between on and off peak rates the payback will be even longer. I’d be willing to gamble I’ll be in my home for 2-3 years or get enough benefit that I wouldn’t care but 5-9? I dunno… My PV system ROI was 5-6 years and will keep going on for a lot longer than I suspect a Powerwall will and with less degradation so it was easy to justify but this isn’t as easy given what installers around me are quoting.

          Oh, and another positive note I found out was SDGE said that installing a battery back up doesn’t impact your existing NEM agreement. Adding on an additional PV system in excess of 1kW would require me to resign up and go on NEM 2.0 but not batteries on their own.

          1. Stephen Hodges says:

            Viewed from outside the USA, all this talk of rates and having to get the right incentive makes me start to believe the line that “subsidies mess with the market”. In most of the rest of the world we just pay through the nose for things and do not get subsidies like in “Rich” America. All the harping about getting $7,500 tax credit off an already cheap EV makes me rather nauseous. I just looked up the import duty for a Nissan Leaf where I live, and it is “only” 58%…. I wish people would just do what is right and save the world, not burn coal if that is what is the cheapest option of the day.

            1. Mark.ca says:

              So are you doing what’s right and save the world or is the 58% tax keeping you away? We all have issues…

    3. speculawyer says:

      “Tesla Energy also seems like they don’t want to sell these things.”

      Conspiracy theory: Maybe Tesla is working on their own inverter/charger/battery-controller that they want to use so they are delaying the business until they can get a bigger (and more lucrative) piece of the action.

      Or maybe they just have too many cars to build and they need the batteries for that.

  4. Mark.ca says:

    So 50 orders it’s alot now?!
    Costumer installing it for a good feeling?!
    Long road ahead…

  5. Mister G says:

    GO TESLA GO DESTROY DIRTY GAS and dirty COAL

    1. Mark.ca says:

      It’s clean coal now…lol.

      1. Steven says:

        What, they wash it with soap and water before they burn it?

        1. Mark.ca says:

          No, they burn it and wash their hands of all the consequences.

  6. ModernMarvelFan says:

    “A dozen or so Tesla storage systems have already been installed in the Twin Cities, but All Energy has another 50 customers waiting patiently for their turn next.”

    50+12 = 62 customers.

    Even at $2000 per installation max, that is only $124K in total revenue.

    How big is the business? $124K in total revenue doesn’t sound like a lot of money for a business that would need to hire few people to do the installation.

  7. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

    Anyone else think that putting this on a wall in homes in the hurricane/tornado zones a bad idea?

    Build a bunker for it. 😛

    1. Mark.ca says:

      It’s place is in the garage but on the house wall should be fine…the house will go flying before the battery anyway.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Anybody who uses the term “tornado zone” must not live where tornadoes are common.

      A hurricane devastates a wide area, possibly hundreds of miles across, and lasts for days.

      A tornado generally doesn’t last longer than minutes, and often or perhaps usually only leaves a path of destruction less than 1 house wide. Even the very rare “F5” tornadoes only leave a path of destruction maybe a mile or so wide.

      Most tornado funnels touching down do not actually result in any significant property damage.

      Tornadoes are not as destructive as hurricanes by several orders of magnitude.

      1. ffbj says:

        There is also the heat island protective effect, whereas the people that really get nailed are the outlying suburbs.
        Also St. Paul is at the northern end of tornado alley, so less intense. fewer tornadoes.

        On the whole straight line winds may do more damage in that area as they occur with much greater frequency.

        1. unlucky says:

          I thought that was just called “math”.

          There is a lot more rural and suburban area across the Midwest than urban area. Statistically strikes on cities would thus be very rare.

  8. unlucky says:

    62 units isn’t really piling up.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      62 installations for a single installer, in just one metro area, in just a few months, certainly does sound like orders are piling up!

      1. ffbj says:

        Yeah, Mike said they were booked until Spring of 2017, 6 blocks from my house, their office, is sending over a consultant.

      2. unlucky says:

        If you want to show orders are piling up, get more orders. If you don’t have enough orders then contact more installers to ask. Otherwise, for all we know this guy has the exclusive rights for the entire upper Midwest, right?

        Stating that there are 62 orders doesn’t indicate orders are piling up.

  9. Just_Chris says:

    Word on the street in Aus is you are looking at more than a 3 month wait for a powerwall – would love to know if that is accurate.

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