Tesla has confirmed that its home battery backup system will be coming to Australia, with the electric vehicle company announcing Thursday the Tesla Powerwall will be available locally within months.
First, the Powerwall is a lithium-ion battery module that stores backup electricity from solar panels, charging up during non-peak energy usage periods, then providing energy back to the home during peak hours.
Designed to balance loads on the power grid, Tesla launched the Powerwall in 7- and 10 kilowatt-hour (kWh) modules, available in the US for $3,000 and $3,500 respectively. The company coupled this with the industrial 100kWh Powerpack, which is designed to be scaled up for commercial applications.
Now, Tesla has confirmed that its Tesla Energy division will be coming to Australia, making the Powerwall available in "late 2015."
While solar panels are a common sight on Australian roofs, the entry of a big-name brand such as Tesla into the battery space could certainly do more to promote the idea of storing this solar energy.
A June study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance showed that though Tesla was yet to arrive in Australia, its push into energy had already brought down local prices of battery storage products, including a Samsung model marketed by Solar Juice, and a storage solution from AU Optronics marketed by AGL Energy in Queensland.
Tesla has clearly had its eye on the local industry, with the company releasing a statement today saying that Australia had been "prioritised" as the first market to get the Powerwall after North America and selected countries in Europe, including Germany.
Because of the way electricity is sold by retail providers and then bought off homes that generate their own electricity, Tesla says Australian home owners set up for solar stand to benefit from the Powerwall.
"The 7kWh daily cycling Powerwall is a compelling option for Australian residential solar users," the company said in its statement.
"Powerwall will enable solar customers to store solar energy they produce during peak sunlight hours with a newly announced power of 3.3kW, continuous and peak. They can then use this energy in the night time hours, rather than purchasing electricity at the retail price and selling their solar back to the grid for the feed-in-tariff rate."
Previously, the Powerwall was only capable of providing power of 3.3kW in peak periods, but not continuously.
While Tesla is yet to release any information about pricing and availability, it says the Powerwall will be sold through "a growing list of Tesla Energy partners" ranging from "major utility companies through to solar supply companies." Details are set to be announced by individual resellers in the coming weeks.
Tesla has confirmed that both the 7kWh and 10kWH Powerwalls will be available locally, with the 7kWh set to big the main seller for those looking to manage peak and off-peak energy use, thanks to its daily cycling. The 10kWh weekly cycle Powerwall is more likely to be geared to rural properties as a back-up solution, though both models can be stacked up to a total of 9 connected units.
Finally, the 100kWh Powerpack will also be coming to Australia for commercial users, with battery blocks designed to be grouped to scale from 500 kWh to 10MWh.