While it’s exciting that Tesla’s multi-billion dollar gigafactory could ultimately create more than 6,500 jobs and produce so many lithium-ion batteries it could be mass marketed, the green automaker could also store electricity for the grid or even people’s homes.
John McElroy, host of industry Webcast “Auto Line Daily,” told the Phoenix Business Journal Tesla could diversify by marketing its batteries to electric utilities who need to store power for peak times of day.
McElroy said natural or coal gas plants could produce base load power while charging batteries at night. Those batteries, also called distributive power, could be allocated toward smoothing out peaks and valleys during the day and even stored in intermodal containers so they could be easily transported.
This could also be applied to renewable energy like wind and solar power, McElroy said. Power could be stored by Tesla batteries and then fed to the grid during the hottest hour of the day.
Homeowners could benefit too, McElroy said. Perhaps you have your own wind or solar generation but it’s not enough to totally power your home. It’s likely in those cases the renewable energy goes back to the grid and you get credit for it, but stocking up on Tesla batteries and storing them could be the key to getting off the grid completely, McElroy said.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said the sheer number of batteries produced at the Gigafactory could produce a mainstream Tesla that could retail for as low as $35,000. It will also save money that they are currently spending with Panasonic.
But McElroy wonders if the batteries will be cheap enough to be practical for home use.
“It’s unclear how Tesla is going to drop the price of these batteries more than anyone else,” he said.
Only time will tell if this technological breakthrough pans out, but the idea of saving energy with a Tesla battery is pretty exciting, if you ask us!
Source: Phoenix Business Journal