Tesla Batteries Trial In US

Innovative US businesses and utilities are working with Tesla on battery storage demonstrations.
Published: Tue 05 May 2015

With the announcement of Tesla Motors’ new lithium-ion storage batteries by CEO Elon Musk last week was revealed an impressive list of equally innovative partners that are working with the company to demonstrate the batteries at business and utility levels. [Engerati-Engerati’s Week In Energy – Powerwall For All]

Energy storage for businesses

Among the businesses involved is Amazon Web Services, which is rolling out a 4.8MWh pilot in its US West (Northern California) Region.

“We’ve been working closely with Tesla for the past year to drive innovative applications of high-capacity battery technology in data centre applications with the ultimate goal of reducing the technical barriers limiting widespread adoption of renewables in the grid,” said James Hamilton, Distinguished Engineer at AWS.

Data centres are major users – and major wasters – of electricity, and renewable energy power, supplemented with storage, will improve their energy efficiency. [Engerati-US Data Centres Can Save US$3 billion By Reducing Power Wastage]

Another high profile company partner is Target, which is pilot testing the batteries at select stores. The wine business Jackson Family Wines is also installing batteries at its wineries, with the aim to mitigate energy use during the winemaking process.

EnerNOC is also partnering with Tesla, with its energy intelligence software able to integrate any site that has a Tesla energy storage system. Enablement of EnerNOC customer sites with Tesla energy storage systems is currently underway, with the initial focus in California, and will enable these enterprises to monetize the batteries through demand charge management and demand response.

Energy storage for utilities

Two utilities are to test the Tesla batteries. Oncor in Texas will be incorporating the batteries in a microgrid. Southern California Edison (SCE) is to undertake two demonstrations – one involving residential customers, targeting homeowners who have solar panels already installed, and the second focusing on commercial and industrial customers who require a larger energy storage capacity. These projects, which are in addition to a recent 261MW energy storage procurement, will test communication capabilities and explore rebates to customers who allow SCE to manage their battery charging in order to increase the use of renewable energy while ensuring continued grid reliability. [Engerati-SCE Leads Energy Storage With Record 261MW Purchase]

“We are excited to work with a cutting-edge company like Tesla to help create a market for battery storage systems,” said Ron Litzinger, executive vice president of Edison International and president of Edison Energy. “The ability to store energy in batteries by both residential and commercial customers is key to expanding the nation’s use of clean renewable power.”

Separately SoCore Energy, a subsidiary of Edison Energy which delivers solar solutions, is working with Cinemark Holdings, Inc., to design and install Tesla batteries at two of their theatre properties in Southern California.

Advanced Microgrid Solutions, which is pioneering the hybrid electric building concept, is also to utilize the batteries, as is AES, which provides grid-scale energy storage solutions. [Engerati-Gridding Buildings For Storage].

Powerwall and Powerpack

Tesla’s Powerwall solution for residential use is available in 7kWh and 10kWh capacities. For business applications up to nine units may be stacked to provide up to 90kWh. The Powerpack solution is 100kWh and for utility scale systems, the battery blocks are grouped to scale from 500kWh to 10MWh+ with a capability of 2hr or 4hr continuous net discharge power using grid tied bi-directional inverters.