Locals leaping into big batteries
Australian energy firms Natural Solar and Origin will be the first to install Tesla Energy’s Powerwall in the local market.
Natural Solar has announced it expects the first home installations of the exciting new battery system to come this January, while Origin wants to start fulfilling orders in February.
Tesla’s Powerwall is a large, sleek, wall-mounted rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
It is designed to store excess power generated by rooftop solar and other home-scale renewable energy systems, as well as recharge itself at times when grid-based electricity is cheaper.
It means lower power bills for some, and even the chance at free energy for those who generate high amounts when the Sun is out, but have to rely on the grid at night.
Powerwalls are a “home battery that charges using electricity generated from solar panels, or when utility rates are low, and powers your home in the evening. It also fortifies your home against power outages by providing a backup electricity supply,” Tesla says.
The first devices to reach the Australian market will include a 7 kWh energy storage capacity, which should be sufficient to power most homes at night with electricity generated by solar panels during the day.
A 10 kWh weekly cycle version is available for backup applications as well.
“By offering rooftop solar with home batteries, Origin is able to provide households with greater control over their energy use than ever before,” Frank Calabria, Origin’s CEO Energy Markets, told reporters.
“Customers can now also make their investment in solar work harder, as excess electricity produced during the day can be stored for use at a later time when the solar panels do not produce electricity.”
Natural Solar has issued a statement saying there has been a large increase in enquiries from Australian consumers since Tesla first announced the Powerwall earlier this year, and it expects demand to be high already.
Australia will be one of the parts of the world to receive Tesla’s new unit.
Natural Solar says Australia was picked for its high electricity prices, abundant sunlight and keenness toward renewable energy.
Already, more than 1.5 million Australian households use solar.
“The Powerwall Home Battery is unique because it can be installed inside or outside, is extremely efficient and is functional for both single- and three-phase households. It can also be islanded from the grid in the event of a blackout,” Chris Williams, Managing Director at Natural Solar said.
Origin says home batteries may not be for everyone just yet, but a recent survey found over 80 per cent of rooftop solar owners were considering buying them.