Tesla is already marketing its new advanced Powerwall battery system to Australian homeowners with the impression that it could offer a possible cost saving of up to $1,500 per annum in electricity bills.
The Powerwall 2, which was recently unveiled by Tesla in the US, packs double the energy storage compared to the original system, and Tesla’s chief exec Elon Musk describes this as “a big step” above the Powerwall 1.
Mr. Anthony Tannous, the executive general manager of CSR Bradford, a distributor of Powerwall in the Australian market, acknowledged that the device was actually “the leap forward the industry needed” and that homeowners should also take a stride towards becoming fully independent from the power grid.
The Powerwall 1 marked a real turning point in the concept of home storage batteries with its sleek and attractive appearance, but over time has been criticised for its limited energy storage capacity.
Currently retailing on the US market at $US 5,500 per unit, the new version has 14 kilowatt hours of storage capacity with an output of 7 kilowatts. The size is almost the same but is more rectangular than the old version.
“You can take a four-bedrooom house and you can power your fridge, the sockets and the lights for a day,” Mr. Musk narrated to an excited audience at the outdoor launch event held at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, and which was webcast live on their corporate website.
“And if you have solar on your house you can power it indefinitely. That’s just with one.”
Tesla also ceased the opportunity to introduce its new Solar Roof system without panels at the same event, which was organized right at the core of a cul de sac of households that had been installed with the solar cell-equipped tiles and which integrated Powerwall 2 storage batteries and electric vehicle chargers.
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Mr. Tannous noted that CSR’s Bradford division was liaising with some of Australia’s top builders to offer Powerwall 2 as standard new homes at no extra charge.
He added that with the average Australian household consuming about 21 kWh of energy each day, the Bradford system which incorporates the Powerwall 2.0 can store enough power to fully cover the evening power usage, “helping a family of four save up to $1500 on their annual energy bill”.
CSR Bradford in conjunction with a few other builders will fit battery systems in new homes including the Arden Homes in Victoria, Gemmill Homes in Western Australia and Mojo Homes in NSW.
Mr. Musk also noted that Tesla had already started shipping Powerpack, the second version of its utility-scale battery, which also has a bigger storage capacity of 210 kWh and 50 kW of output.
“This can scale to unlimited size,” he stated, pointing to an 80 MWh system being made for Southern California Edison and another 52 MWh plant under construction in Hawaii.
Mr. Musk added that contrary to views that it was going to be “one or the other” for utility and local power generation plants, both were important since heating and transport were slowly changing over to electricity, eventually tripling the amount of power needed.
“Sometimes the solar roof is positioned as a competitor to utilities but we’re actually going to need utility power to increase and we’re going to need local power generation,” said Mr. Musk, projecting that future generating capacity could be made up of one-third local generation and about two-thirds utility generation.