Tesla Eyes Home Energy Storage

TeslaTesla Motors’ designs on the energy storage market go well beyond its famous electric cars and reach well into the home.

It plans to build a lithium-ion battery factory and may enter the energy storage market, CEO Elon Musk said during a discussion of its first-quarter earnings, according to Forbes.

Musk said the company is considering the design of a stationary battery pack. It could resemble the Model S pack: flat, 5 inches off the wall, and with an integrated bi-directional inverter.

More details will be disclosed about the home battery system design toward the end of this year or early next year.

Tesla plans to build its own battery manufacturing complex, likely managed by its current supplier, Panasonic.

An early entry into the home market is SolarCity, which bundles Tesla’s battery systems with solar panels and markets them to consumers and businesses.

And the home market is attractive to everyone from manufacturers to installers. A promising market is emerging in California, where the state recently created an incentive program to encourage its utilities to use energy storage. Batteries may not be the only solution, but they are likely needed to store the increased amount of solar and wind energy on the grid.

Utilities could use energy storage to bank solar and wind electricity when there’s too much available and discharge the energy from storage and into the grid when demand is high.

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