- Tesla Motors, the battery/electric car company owned by Elon Musk, will unveil a home battery this week that will cost around $13,000 and have the capability to keep a home's electricity running for hours during a blackout, the Guardian reports.
- Customers will be able to lease the home battery packs, which are to be paired with SolarCity rooftop solar systems, for an initial $1500 payment, followed by $15 monthly payments for 10 years. About 300 SolarCity customers in California are currently part of a pilot program combining the battery packs and solar systems.
- Tesla is also expected to unveil a larger, grid-scale battery for utility use on Thursday, along with the official announcement of the home battery pack.
Anticipation has been brimming across the power sector for Tesla's Thursday announcement ever since Elon Musk teased the new technology in a pair of tweets last month. And although nothing has officially been released yet, the Guardian spoke to investment analyst Trib Chowdhry, who unveiled some key details of the company's upcoming announcement.
Chowdhry told the British newspaper that according to his discussions with participants in the Tesla-SolarCity pilot program, the system is currently offered in 10 and 15 kWh configurations to solar customers who do not own an electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid (which have batteries that can be leveraged for home use). The total cost of the battery is around $13,000, but leasing options similar to those used by the solar industry reportedly lower prices to a $1500 down payment, followed $15 per month after that.
The battery will be able to supply uninterrupted power to home devices when the power goes out or provide energy to a residence during peak demand times. Tesla will have permission to monitor data from the systems.
The Guardian notes that some utilities, like Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) in California, offer rebates for consumers to purchase energy storage systems because they can be used to decrease demand during peak hours. PG&E currently gives a 50% rebate, and other utilities could follow suit as storage proliferates.
As Utility Dive reported last week, SolarCity is steadily expanding beyond its traditional business of rooftop system installing to include a slate of grid services that allow it to "run the grid." In addition to its partnership with Tesla, the solar company has also announced partnerships with Nest thermostats and a microgrid project aimed at making it "more than a solar company."