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Published on April 26th, 2015 | by James Ayre


Walmart Has Tesla Batteries Installed At 11 Locations In California — Tesla’s Commercial Ambitions Exposed?

April 26th, 2015 by  

With Tesla’s official unveiling of its new battery storage systems getting closer, the tension seems to be building some and speculation has been rampant, but some interesting details have certainly already come to light — amongst which is that Tesla is clearly aiming to sell its new battery systems to a wide range of large commercial markets/sectors, as evidenced by the fact that Walmart has already installed Tesla’s batteries at 11 of its California locations, as part of a pilot program with SolarCity.

A broader demonstration of this ambition is clear when a close look at California’s Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) is taken. The company is actually already set to receive as much as $65 million via the alternative energy investment incentive program. (Tesla accounts for around 70% of SGIP storage projects connected to California’s grid, and half of all current applications, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.)


“Tesla has been able to install more than 100 projects, really without anyone noticing,” stated Andrea James, an analyst with Dougherty & Co. Also noting that the EV manufacturer’s energy storage business could be “worth as much as $70 to Tesla’s stock.”

Renewable Energy World provides more:

The SGIP database provides a snapshot of Tesla’s activities in its home state and is by no means a complete picture of the company’s storage ambitions.

But Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk has been dropping hints for weeks, and yesterday the company told investors and analysts in an e-mail that Tesla will announce the home battery and a “very large” utility-scale battery on April 30. In the e-mail, Jeffrey Evanson, Tesla’s chief of investor relations, said the company “will explain the advantages of our solutions and why past battery options were not compelling.”

Tesla spokeswoman Khobi Brooklyn said the company would share more information next week.

Given the currently rapidly expanding nature of the storage industry it isn’t surprising that Tesla is wanting to get in on it — especially as it will provide some redundancy and resilience to its electric vehicle battery production operations (via the under-construction gigafactory).

The company’s vision of the future certainly assumes that growth will continue. As Tesla’s CTO JB Straubel recently noted: “Energy storage on the grid will grow rapidly in combination with renewables. Eventually you’re going to have a 100% battery electric vehicle fleet, working in tandem with an almost 100% renewable electric utility grid full of solar and wind.”

At any rate, the official announcement of the battery system(s) is nearly here…. Just a few more days. In the meantime, here are some related stories:

As You Await Tesla’s Home Battery Announcement, Here’s A Battery Presentation From Tesla CTO JB Straubel

Another JB Straubel Presentation — The Future of Transportation (Video)

LG Chem Trying To Steal Tesla’s Home Battery Storage Thunder?

Image Credit: Tesla 


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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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