Tesla’s Powerwall Is Soon Available For Purchase

Tesla’s Powerwall Is Soon Available For Purchase

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In April this year Tesla announced another one of its revolutionary technologies – the Powerwall. The announcement immediately garnered much attention and in the first week drew nearly 38,000 reservations.

Just over half a year later and the first customers are about to get Powerwalls installed in their homes, announced Green Mountain Power (GMP) from Vermont. In early 2016, GMP will receive 500 units of the 7kWh Powerwall domestic battery packs. After an initial pilot in ten customers’ homes, the company plans to open orders to the wider public.

The 7kWh Powerwalls are designed as a daily-cycle battery pack. Tesla intends them for applications where customers could charge the battery during the day, say with solar panels, and use stored energy during the off-hours. 10kWh Powerwalls are designed for backup in case of a power failure, rather than daily cycling, and will ship in the following year.

Tesla has devised a distribution model for its Powerwalls where third-party distributors handle installation in customers’ homes, and will only directly handle the installation of “Powerpacks”, which are designed for industrial use.

When Tesla announced the Powerwall in April, Tesla CEO Elon Musk claimed the new batteries will cost $3,000 for the 7kWh version. In GMP’s announcement the price more than doubled, rising to $6,500 per unit, including installation and the requisite inverter. Still, this is a drastic price reduction when compared to similar lithium-ion battery models, that sell for more than $20,000.

This will be the first test of Tesla’s battery packs, and all eyes are watching keenly. Tesla has been adamant about wanting to shake-up the way the power grid operates, moving to a “smart microgrid” model. If this initial application proves successful it will be a vindication of Tesla’s model. We might not recognise the power grid a decade from now.