Tesla announced the Powerwall earlier today for homeowners, but for utilities and businesses, it also announced the Powerpack (opens in new tab), an infinitely scaling resource for organisations wanting to move to full solar production.
At the event, Tesla CEO Elon Musk claimed the Powerpack is scalable to the point it could power an entire city if needs be, although it seems unlikely any US city would be prepared to go fully solar at the current time.
Cities might not be interested, but according to new reports Amazon, Walmart and Target are already testing the Powerpack in stores across the US. Tesla has been working with Walmart for a few weeks prior to the announcement, with Bloomberg (opens in new tab) reporting the Powerpack is already installed in 10 stores in the US.
Some analysts suspect Tesla has secretly been installing Powerpacks across the US, adding up to 100 before today’s announcement. This shows business interest in the battery supply, capable of storing solar and wind energy and holding it for emergency backup, electric car charging or complete off the grid control.
Similar to Tesla’s consumer Powerwall - which will go on sale for £2000 later this year - the Powerpack is capable of creating microgrids, where it can intake all of the energy from solar or wind energy sources, store or push it back out into the store. It connects to the internet, allowing it to make quick decisions on how much energy to store, depending on factors like peak energy times, available sunlight and time of day.
This could save businesses thousands in the long haul, especially if it is capable of setting up a completely green system that is cut off from the electric grid. The price of maintaining the Powerpack and the solar panels or wind turbines is much lower than the cost of regular electricity into a large store like Walmart.
Even though Tesla is focusing its efforts in the US, Musk did claim that remote locations across the world would benefit immensely from the Powerwall, as it would take them off the erratic and expensive power grid. In the UK, it could be an option, although solar panels are not as effective as they are in the US, where it tends to be sunny for more than a few days in a year.