Australia To Be One Of The First Tesla Powerwall Markets

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Originally published on RenewEconomy.
By Sophie Vorrath

Australia has been named as one of the first markets – along with North America – that will receive deliveries of Tesla’s much anticipated Powerwall residential battery storage system.

Tesla said on Thursday that it would be launching its 7kWh home energy storage units in Australia in late 2015, alongside North America and the DACH market in Europe, through a “growing list” of Tesla Energy partners. This is ahead of previous predictions of 2016.

One of those partners in Australia will be Canberra-based Reposit Power, which is rolling out a series of trials enabling households with solar and storage to trade energy during the day. Reposit announced in May that its technology would be integrated with the Tesla battery storage unit.

The California-based EV maker describes Australia as a core market for its Tesla Energy products, because of its high electricity costs and excellent solar resources, and the structure of its tariffs.

The Tesla launch earlier this year created a buzz of excitement around the world, and has already brought other manufacturers into the Australian market, and triggered a fall in battery storage prices. Some analysts say battery storage will be a mass market product by 2020, others say it could be before then.

UBS this week noted that households will play a central role in the move to a high renewable energy grid, because of the potential of battery storage to help consumers and grid operators.

Labor is pushing for a 50 per cent renewables target by 2030, although new prime minister Malcolm Turnbull describes this as “reckless”. The Greens want a much higher target, but the Nationals has rebuked any member who wants to support renewable energy, despite its popularity in the public.

Tesla, in its latest press release, says its daily cycling lithium-ion Powerwall battery is a compelling option for Australian households with rooftop solar, “due to the unique structure of retail electricity and the feed-in-tariff solar pricing options across the country.”

The biggest markets for battery storage in Australia will be those areas that pay little for the output from solar arrays to the grid. This includes all new installations, and in areas like NSW, where 160,000 households will lose their solar premium tariffs at the end of 2016.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts 33GWh of storage in Australia within 20 years, accompanied by 37GW of rooftop solar.

Tesla has also announced an upgraded battery capacity of 3.3kW, continuous and peak, that will allow solar customers to store the energy they generate during peak sunlight hours and use it at night, rather than drawing electricity from the grid.

Additional products supplied by Tesla Energy will include the 10kWh weekly cycle Powerwall which is compatible for residential back-up power and the Powerpack, a commercial and utility solution, grouping 100kWh battery blocks to scale from 500kWh to 10MWh+.

Reprinted with permission.

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29 thoughts on “Australia To Be One Of The First Tesla Powerwall Markets

  • Several years ago then US Secretary of Energy Dr. Chu told a meeting of electric utility cos. that PV + battery storage would be cheaper than the grid by 2025 (or so) in NY and by 2030 in CA. It is great to see it coming. I feel like I am at the dawn of a new age.

    • 2025-2030 is when I predict sulfur battery chemistry taking over the market that tech will be the final nail in the fossil energy market.

      • Check out a *great way how you can earn a lot of extra $ by finishing basic jobs online from home for few hrs /daily VISIT MY-DISQUS-PROFILE to find out more

    • I think you got those states backwards. It is much easier in most of California where we get much more sun than NY. NYC electricity prices are probably pretty high but hardly anyone as a place to install solar PV>

      • I was surprised too for the same reasons you are, but the price of electricity in NY is enough higher to make it reasonable. I wouldn’t take it too seriously except as a general guideline. The tech and cost changes enough to make any prediction outdated the moment it is uttered.

  • Why bother to launch the Powerwall in the USA, with its low retail prices and widespread net metering? Australia is the obvious first market, followed by Germany. Both have high retail electricity prices, and a big gap before you reach the much lower FIT if any.
    Spain would also have good economics, as feed-in is effectively banned, but at the price of alienating the government and prejudicing car sales. The Phipppines and Brazil should be better.

    • Because Australia only has 23 million people. You need to understand that the niche US early adopter and rich novelty consumer markets are larger than the Total Australia population. California is a larger market than Australia.

      • RV and Yacht and off grid will form a substantial battery market in the US. Basically Tesla will not be able to supply it all, until well into 2017.

      • Note sure what “DACH market in Europe”, but my guess is that Australia and Germany plus what might not be that small a niche of early US adopters will keep TESLA production constrained for a while. In the US niche people that are willing to drop the cash to get safety for when grid goes down, even if they have never lost power themselves. Ability to island, either for a home, business, or campus might grow faster than expected, it is a insurance policy. With storms knocking power out to homes for a week or two, a lot of people might think it is a good idea, just to be safe. For a saving money stand point in US, I still think it will be peak power shaving that jumps first. It is already supported in their pricing model. Much like load shifting using thermal (cold/heat) storage.

        • DACH = Germany (D), Austria (A), Switzerland (CH). It’s their country code on their vehicle registration plate.

          • Heh.. I thought along the lines of ‘Dach-Organisation’ 🙂
            You learn something new every day.

    • Yes. Fully serve the Australian market and leave the Americans disappointed and demanding their batteries.

    • Well, they haven’t launched in the USA. And other than a few SolarCity test project, I doubt the will any time soon. Perhaps in Hawaii first.

    • Because Tesla is based here, and LA is a good hub for advertising. That and there are many people with money that would like to spend it. One more, Hawaii is part of the US and an excellent PowerWall market.

      • The rich silicon valley types could buy in Australia and ship back to the US.

      • Point taken on Hawaii. California would be for the glamour, not a trivial consideration for a Silicon Valley company.

  • Like the iceman delivering blocks of ice in the old days, I look forward to no grid real estate where power is delivered by my extra large EV battery or the new age iceman cometh to me house twice a week to recharge my Powerwalls.
    Houses near suburbia cost a $million for first time buyers which is out of reach for many young people so living practically in the woods could be an option now without a serviced lot.

    • Low off-grid land prices can make the concern with electricity production seem trivial. With the new PV and batteries, off grid living is as easy as falling off a log.

    • Uh . . . what? That sounds really stupid. Why not just deliver the power to the batteries using the wires already connected to your house? Oh . . you are talking far-out off grid. Well, they still need to deal with water, sewage, and heating.

      • Average price for a detached house in Vancouver is 2.2 million dollars. That is a fixer upper. So consider an off grid house and land an hour or two away for $400,000. That septic and PV and battery starts to sound like a deal, doesn’t it?

        • That, but unless one wants to drastically change their lifestyle, also a diesel (or, propane I guess) generator for wintertime.
          At the present capacities of batteries work ok for daily cycle, but will not help to smooth out lower winter-time generation.

          And from environmental standpoint it is just all-around backwards. What is good globally is higher density, not lower.

          • No lifestyle change necessary. I am 15 years off grid solar in Canada. Modern off grid is indistinguishable from grid, except that it is more reliable. A back up generator is trivial, I used mine 35 hours last year. When the Tesla batteries are available the generator will go silent.

          • Tell that to the rent-seekers.. 😉

      • I’m sorry for my delivery style, I borrowed it from Bob Dylan, read between the lines, fill them with your inspiration.

  • If you are one of the first Powerwall markets, that means your local utilities SUCK. And yes, the do in Australia where they overbuilt the generation/transmission/distribution infrastructure for demand that never materialized. They are charging high rates to cover for that unnecessary build-out. And people are mad and dropping off the grid big time. Thus, the demand for Powerwalls.

    • Are there statistics on how many are actually literally going off-grid? It would be interested to see. I mean, anecdotes can be useful, and I do not doubt there is strong sentiment of wanting to stick it up to utilities. But numbers would be most interesting.

      • Home Power magazine estimates 250,000 off grid homes in the US.

      • I went off 100% grid – It’s awesome ! Just do it !

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