Green Mountain Power (GMP), an electric utility in Vermont, was one of the first companies to get on board with Tesla’s energy storage products as they made a deal with the company back when they introduced the first generation of the Powerwall in 2015.
The rollout of Tesla’s home battery pack has been relatively slow, but the company has been making some big deals that led to a wider deployment of the energy storage system.
Now we learn that GMP has now 2,000 Powerwalls and it has installed just over 10 percent of them.
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Tesla’s Powerwall deployment was slowed down as the company’s energy division focused on bigger projects using Powerpacks, its bigger energy storage system for commercial and utility-scale projects. It also focused on sending energy storage systems to Puerto Rico following the devastation of their electric grid by two hurricanes earlier this year.
It resulted in many markets still not having access to the home battery pack and Tesla not having delivered the units to many owners who won them through its referral programs.
But we have still seen a few large-scale projects using Tesla’s Powerwall recently being deployed, like Tesla installing over 300 Powerwalls in Hawaiian schools to cool down hot classrooms.
Now we also learn that Tesla already delivered 2,000 Powerwalls to Green Mountain Power for their virtual power plant rollout.
Kristin Carlson, VP of Strategic & External Affairs at GMP, told Electrek in an email yesterday that they already have all the battery packs.
Update: Even though Carlson confirmed that information twice, the company has now got back to us saying that they don;t have all the Powerwalls yet.
It’s a significant quantity for Vermont in comparison to California, which is a much bigger state and it has been an early adopter of energy storage. Last year, we reported that Tesla Powerwalls were used in almost 2,000 projects since the launch of California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP).
When we reported on the GMP project in December, they had reportedly installed Powerwalls at over 100 homes in Vermont.
Now Carlson says that after the last quarter, they have deployed 220 Powerwalls out of the 2,000.
The company expects to install the remaining ~90% of their Powerwalls by the end of the year.
As of a few months ago, GMP reportedly already had a backlog of 1,200 homeowners interested in the device.
Under their agreement with the electric utility, homeowners who receive a Powerwall are able to use it for backup power for “$15 a month or a $1,500 one-time fee”, which is significantly less expensive the ~$7,000 cost of the device with installation, but in return, Green Mountain Power is able to access the energy in the pack to support its grid, like a virtual power plant.
While Tesla’s large-scale energy storage projects mainly involve Powerpacks, several other “virtual power plant” projects have recently been announced using their Powerwalls.
In Australia, there’s Tesla’s massive plan to create a 50,000-home virtual power plant with Powerwalls and they recently announced that they will supply another ‘virtual power plant’ with Powerwalls at up to 1,200 homes.
The company has also been deploying Powerwalls in smaller quantities with its residential solar projects, like its recent solar roof installations.
As I keep emphasizing lately with Tesla’s energy storage projects, the company is accumulating an impressive volume of energy storage capacity when adding up those projects and it sounds like they had significant production increase or they are going to have to in order to deliver those new projects in the backlog.
Until now, Tesla has been deploying about 150 MWh of energy storage per quarter, but I can see them easily doubling that by the end of the year.
It’s still going to be dwarfed by Tesla’s car business, but the growth rate has been extreme considering they only launched Tesla Energy in 2015.
I think it’s really important to keep an eye on the progress of the division this year as it could emerge as a big game changer.