Tesla doubles the punch of Powerwall batteries

Australian Financial Review - Oct 31 2016.

Tesla's new beefed-up Powerwall battery system can offer Australian homeowners a potential saving of up to $2100 a year in electricity bills. CSR Bradford has partnered a number of builders to provide battery systems in new homes, including Gemmill Homes in Western Australia, Arden Homes in Victoria and Mojo Homes in NSW.
POWERWALL 2 SPECS
Tesla's second-generation Powerwall home battery was launched last Friday. 

Tesla's new beefed-up Powerwall battery system is being marketed to Australian homeowners as offering a potential saving of up to $1500 a year in electricity bills.

The Powerwall 2, launched by Tesla in the US on Friday, packs double the energy storage as the original system, and is being described by Tesla chief Elon Musk as "a big step" above the Powerwall 1.

Anthony Tannous, executive general manager of CSR Bradford, a distributor of Powerwall in the Australian market, said the device was "the leap forward the industry needed" and said homeowners could take a stride towards becoming independent from the grid.

The original Powerwall marked a turning point in the image of home batteries, with its sleek, desirable appearance, but has been criticised by some for its limited storage capacity.

The latest version has 14 kilowatt-hours of storage capacity and output of 7 kilowatts. It is a similar size but more rectangular than the original.

"You can take a four-bedrooom house and you can power your fridge, the sockets and the lights for a day," Mr Musk told an enthusiastic audience at the outdoor launch event at Universal Studios in Los Angeles, which was webcast live on the corporate website.

"And if you have solar on your house you can power it indefinitely. That's just with one."

Mr Tannous said CSR's Bradford division was working with some of Australia's leading builders to offer the Powerwall 2.0 as standard in new homes at no extra cost.

He said that with the average Australian household using 21 kWh of power a day, the Bradford system that includes a Powerwall 2.0 could store enough power to cover the evening energy usage, "helping a family of four save up to $2500 on their annual energy bill".

CSR Bradford has partnered a number of builders to provide battery systems in new homes, including Gemmill Homes in Western Australia, Arden Homes in Victoria and Mojo Homes in NSW. 

Mr Musk also advised that Tesla had recently begun shipping the second version of its utility-scale battery, Powerpack, which also has increased capacity of 210 kWh of storage and 50 kW of output.

"This can scale to unlimited size," he said, pointing to an 80 MWh system being built for Southern California Edison and a 52 MWh plant being built in Hawaii.

Mr Musk said that contrary to perceptions that it was "one or the other" for local power generation and utility plants, both were needed because transport and heating were gradually switched over to electricity, roughly trebling the amount of electricity 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," Mr Musk said, predicting that future generating capacity would be roughly one-third local generation and two-thirds utility generation.

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