With South Africa’s electricity rates set to increase by 9.4% this year and the country’s unstable grid prone to outages, home energy storage systems are expected to become quite popular in the region. Tesla is aware of the opportunity and opened an office in the country earlier this year to develop the market for its ‘Tesla Energy’ products: the Powerwall and Powerpack.
Now we learn though a new report from Bloomberg that Enel Green Power SpA, the renewable energy unit of Italy’s biggest utility, is offering a “home-power kit”, which includes a Tesla Powerwall, to the South African market.
Bloomberg talked with Enel Green Power Chief Executive Officer Francesco Venturini:
“Now that the prices are going up, people are going to look at entirely different solutions. There is a section of the population that can afford to buy backup power for the house,”
The kit is not cheap. We are talking about ~$10,000 for a power inverter, lithium battery (Tesla Powerwall) and optional photovoltaic modules.
The system is connected to Enel’s platform and to the network of the state-owned utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. It can schedule the charging sessions of the battery in order to have a full charge before the utility’s scheduled power cuts.
Venturini has a lot of hopes for the African market:
“We wanted to see what to do next, how to embrace this. It’s probably the market of the future, so let’s see how people are going to react.”
Tesla also anticipates significant growth on the continent and it plans to use South Africa as its springboard to the market. The company is even reportedly in talks to build a Gigafactory in South Africa.