Tesla’s Gigawatt Battery Plans
Over the last small handful of years, Tesla has quickly become one of the most widely covered businesses in the world. Despite varied opinions on Elon Musk, or Tesla’s ambitious goals, they have continued to develop highly innovative technologies on a vast industrial scale, and in a relatively miniscule window of time.
The enormous investment Tesla have made in pursuit of their radical vision for the future of private transportation has propelled them to household brand status and incurred a huge amount of coverage. As always, ‘first through the wall’ companies provide excellent insight to the possible future of an industry, the technology that might be involved and the reception of change to both markets and consumers.
When it comes to energy storage, Tesla takes a leading position in developing batteries or alternatives with high density, large capacity and a low self-discharge rate. This is consequence of a severe need to supporting Tesla’s other endeavours, including the new generation of vehicles. As such, only recently Tesla reported a record of $410 million revenue from their energy generation and storage division for the first quarter of 2018.
Along with publishing the quarterly results, Tesla also announced they are aiming to increase their energy storage business to be three times as productive, currently at 410-megawatt-hours storage. A big part of this is expected to be formed by a new product CEO Elon Musk has been hinting at for the past few months: a gigawatt-hour energy storage system. If deployed, this will most likely signify a shift in Tesla’s areas of focus, such as cooperation and partnerships with city grids, and other large-scale utilities providers in need of substantial energy storage solutions.
Experts predict this to be officially announced within months, as a part of Tesla’s new energy direction, but it is unclear what shape the storage will take or the technologies it will use to compress energy. Currently the most comparable project is also Tesla-led: the world’s largest ion lithium battery in South Australia, which stores 129-megawatt-hours. When tested last year, it was noted to have a response time of 140 milliseconds. While this is currently the only battery of such scale, British entrepreneur Sajeev Gupta has announced his plan to surpass these capabilities with a 140-megawatt hour instalment.
A development of this scale would significantly increase the scale of projects within Tesla’s grasp, and it seems likely a formal announcement of this gigawatt-hour solution would be made in conjunction with further exciting revelations of Tesla’s energy vision for the coming years. It will also be interesting to see some potential competition being aimed at Tesla in their own field of expertise, particularly as Elon Musk has historically approached markets with radical ambitions of overhaul and redesign, rather than simply offering improvements to traditional product offerings.