Elon Musk announced new home and business batteries, including the Tesla Powerwall home battery, starting at $3000.
I am very excited about this idea. The power business has been a very inefficient monopoly that is going to change radically. We as consumers pay huge amounts for power because of what is known as peak load. As an example, during the summer on hot days power consumption skyrockets with everybody’s air conditioning running at the same time. The cost of power at wholesale jumps by thousands of percent when demand peaks. That cost is passed on to you and me. Now the Tesla people have come up with a simple and affordable way for homeowners, businesses, the military and power companies to dramatically lower what we pay for power. The possibilities are way beyond what I will throw out, but here are some examples.
People who live in rural areas with either good wind or sun may be able to live without a power company by using solar or wind matched with battery packs like the ones from Tesla. When the sun is bright or the wind is strong, most systems generate more power than is needed at the time. That extra is stored by the battery pack to be used when the sun goes down or the wind dies down.
An urban or suburban homeowner, business, factory, hospital or school can have a battery pack as back up power when the power goes down from a storm or any other reason. It will be a much more affordable alternative than a generator. If the battery pack is combined with solar, then the need for power falls big time. Many businesses and individuals may rarely need power from the power company.
As more and more power companies install giant utility scale wind farms or solar farms, the industrial size battery packs will help the power companies match the power being generated with the demand up to the minute. You may wonder what that has to do with you and me: It is huge. If a power company has no way to store power and add it when needed then much of the wind or sun power may just go to waste.
Tesla isn’t close to being the first company to make battery back up systems. However, the Tesla breakthrough is in the price. The systems are cheap enough that the payback is so good that it will just make sense for people and businesses to install the battery packs.
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