Tesla’s Powerpack will power an off-grid solar system at a luxury safari lodge in Africa


Update: the article has been updated to better represent SolarAfrica’s involvement in the project

Tesla Energy already has a few on going projects in Africa, including several Powerwalls installed with a solar array by SolarCity at the gorilla reserve of the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), but the company is also about to deliver its first Powerpack project on the continent.

The company announced last night that it will deploy a 750kW/3,150kWh Powerpack system for an off-grid solar and energy storage installation at Singita, a luxury safari lodge in the Kruger National Park in South Africa (pictured above).

The project is being developed with SolarAfrica, a company offering solar energy solutions to off-grid and grid-tied commercial, industrial and residential energy users in Africa.

We are talking about a significant system with roughly 31 Powerpacks.

Tesla recently announced several large Powerpack projects, but they were all tied to the grid. This new project is a rare off-grid installation for Tesla and it will be an interesting opportunity to showcase the potential of the Powerpacks for off-grid systems with solar in remote areas.

In Africa, Tesla has plenty of opportunities to develop “minigrid” projects in remote areas, but it is also selling its Powerwalls and Powerpacks to homeowners and businesses in South Africa. The country’s electricity rates are set to increase by 9.4% this year and the unstable grid is prone to outages

Enel, the electric utility giant and Powerwall distributor for Tesla in South Africa, has been offering the system by highlighting the current local difficulties with the grid.

As we reported last month, Tesla reduced the price of its Powerpack and commercial inverter by a significant amount. During a conference call, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the company is about to unveil new ‘Tesla Energy’ products by the end of the year.

Consequently, he also warned that volume deliveries will be pushed toward the end of the year, which is when several large projects are planned for installation, and now we learn that the new luxury safari lodge in South Africa will follow shortly after – in “early 2017” according to the company.

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