It seems that whenever there's the slightest energy crisis or struggle, Tesla is there with their Powerwall battery in tow ready to be installed. Earlier this year, Tesla announced a partnership with communities in Vermont to install Powerwalls and Powerpacks. While rollouts in other areas have slowed a little since the second generation of Powerwalls launched, but local news in Vermont reported that over 100 residents have power throughout the state thanks to Tesla.
While Tesla is known for its cars and Tesla Model S, Tesla Energy is the next big thing for the company. It includes Powerwall and Powerpack. If you're not up-to-date, Tesla Powerwall is a battery that can be attached to a wall and can store electricity that was previously generated by solar panels on the roof of your house. It has the capacity of 7 kWh at peak (people use around 30 kWh per day). This way, you are able to draw and store electricity from utility grid during night hours when costs are lower. Over time this will help you save large amounts of money.
The success largely comes from Green Mountain Power's collaboration with Tesla. After the company announced new electric grid services in May of this year, GMP jumped onboard and said they would deploy up to 2,000 Tesla Powerwall batteries within the utility's service territory.
"Having those 100 signed up is like virtually disconnecting, like taking 500 homes completely off the grid. That’s the equivalent. So you can only imagine when we get up to 2,000 and when we go further," said GMP CEO Mary Powell.
Local television station WCAX interviewed homeowner Andy McMahan. She said one outage happened shortly after the Powerwall system was installed. She said her surrounding neighbors were out of power, but she was not.
"Boom! All the lights came on and we were golden after that," she said. "The seamlessness is just, you know, you don’t have to go out and start a generator. It just– it’s quiet, doesn’t use fuel, it’s what it is– it’s powered by the sun."
McMahan got in early, according to WCAX. The news station reported there are an additional 1,200 homes on the waiting list for Tesla Powerwalls.
"We're always making sure we're always looking at things like the weather, make sure that in those cases we would be ensuring that the storage devices are fully charged and ready for the customer to use," said Powell.
One of the biggest benefits of the GMP Powerwall partnership? For McMahan's home, she only pays $15 a month for the service of two Powerwalls attached to her home. Typical installation for a Tesla Powerwall (as in, ordering it through the Tesla website) will cost anywhere between $7,000 and $8,000. However, for some Vermont residents, even that cost would be worth it, given the benefits from the Powerwall.
"If these continue as good as they are, if there wasn't a lease agreement, I would buy one," McMahan told WCAX. "I seriously would."
Powerwall Partnerships Around the World
Tesla's biggest Powerwall distribution has been throughout California. While the Powerwall deployment seems to have stalled, that slowdown comes for pretty good reasons. First, Tesla has been researching more into its Powerpacks -- those commercial batteries for large-scale energy projects. The company also stopped other projects in order to send energy storage to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Irma earlier this year.
Powerpacks themselves were used in two major projects -- the California project and the international South Australia project. Tesla CEO Elon Musk had a bet to win with regard to the latter project after he publicly wagered that he could solve South Australia's energy crisis by installing a Powerwall/Powerpack center in under 100 days or the project was free of charge. And, earlier this year, Musk announced that he'd won that bet. Powerball by Tesla definitely works!
Check out the video that explains installation and features.
Could 2018 be the year that Musk retools the Tesla Powerwall and Powerpacks back to the United States? Could the US -- a country debating the merits of clean energies under a government that increasingly doesn't see the point of green, smart technology -- finally have more alternatives to traditional power? We will find out in the near future.