Tesla is in the process of installing Powerpacks as backup power for the Supercharger stations affected by power outages in Northern California.
As we reported yesterday, PG&E, the largest electric utility in Northern California, started cutting power in regions around the Bay Area in a planned de-energizing measure that could affect around 800,000 homes over the next week.
The extreme measure was put in place due to extreme fire weather conditions as the result of a windy and dry forecast for the region.
In preparation, Tesla sent in-car warnings to owners about the upcoming power outages and recommended a full charge.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk now says that they are working to add Powerpacks to the affected Superchargers “within the next few weeks”:
All Tesla Supercharger stations in regions affected by California power outages will have Tesla Powerpacks within next few weeks. Just waiting on permits.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 10, 2019
It’s unclear if it will make a difference, as PG&E is trying to establish power as soon as possible, but it may take weeks in some instances since the utility company has to inspect all of its infrastructure.
On a more general note, Musk added that Tesla is working to add solar arrays to its Supercharger stations as fast as possible:
Also adding Tesla Solar to our Supercharger stations as fast as possible. Goal is 24/7 clean power with no blackouts.
That’s something that Musk has been promising for a long time.
Musk has long been talking about deploying more energy storage and solar power with its Supercharger station in order to stabilize the cost of the Superchargers and make sure Tesla’s electric vehicles were powered by more renewable energy.
Three years ago, he linked the deployment of those technologies to Supercharger V3.
There are some installed already, but full rollout really needs Supercharger V3 and Powerpack V2, plus SolarCity. Pieces now in place.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 24, 2016
The new Las Vegas Supercharger, which is the first full-fledged Supercharger V3 station, is one of the rare ones with both solar and Powerpacks.
That’s what I like to hear. I know people often brush off solar at charging stations as a gimmick because it doesn’t generate enough power, but it’s a good start.
Also, the batteries make a big difference. Demand charges are a big part of the cost of operating charging stations.
If you can store solar power in batteries and reduce peak demand, you are going to reduce the cost of charging at the Supercharger station drastically.
Tesla’s Supercharger prices have increased over the last year, and while it may seem to be counterintuitive to add an expensive solar and battery system, it will have a positive impact on the long term.
On top of that, it can provide backup power.
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