We have been reporting on a ton of new Tesla Energy projects being deployed lately and they have been adding up to quite an important energy capacity.
Tesla CTO JB Straubel now confirms that the company has deployed over 1 GWh of energy storage – a capacity that he says is “undeniably making an impact.”
The 1 GWh milestone comes after Tesla confirmed a record installation of 373 MWh of energy storage projects last quarter.
The Tesla co-founder and longtime head of technology at the company confirmed the milestone in a comment to FastCompany:
“It’s at a scale now where it’s undeniably making an impact,”
Tesla’s giant battery in Australia represented the bulk of the company’s installations last quarter and it is indeed ‘undeniably making an impact’.
We recently reported that it reduced by 90% the cost of the grid services that used to be performed by fossil fuel power plants.
Straubel, who previously admitted that he might prefer batteries over cars, says that energy storage is becoming an increasingly important part of the company:
“We see it as absolutely core to our mission as a company of accelerating sustainability,” says Straubel. “Electric vehicles, where we started, are one key piece of that puzzle. They’re an enabler for using sustainable energy and transportation, but they need to be linked to an energy generation source . . . We really want to solve this all the way, with a big-picture mind-set of truly solving the problem, not just providing someone a piece of the [solution] and then they have to go and figure out how to charge their car sustainably.”
That was the reasoning that CEO Elon Musk pushed when he suggested the acquisition of SolarCity to Tesla shareholders.
Many of Tesla’s latest energy storage projects have been deployed through SolarCity’s old sale channels, like Tesla Powerwalls at residential solar installations.
But Straubel adds that Tesla’s energy division is also growing with the help of economy of scale from its car business:
“The economy of scale that we can derive, and have derived, from building the Model S and the Model X, or now the Model 3 at scale, is what has allowed us to bring down the cost of energy storage for all these different applications,”
The CTO reiterated that Tesla is currently working to ramp up Powerwall and Powerpack production to work through their backlog of orders and accelerate the deployment of energy storage capacity, which help solve a lot of energy issues:
“Even at 300%, we’ll need to grow it this way for decades, frankly, to really solve the problem. And not just us, but other companies need to get involved, too.”
Among those many new energy storage orders, we recently reported on Tesla having ‘about 11,000’ energy storage projects underway in Puerto Rico, the massive 50,000-Powerwall virtual power plant project in South Australia, but also several other virtual power plants using the Powerwall, like a smaller in Lebanon and another one in Australia.