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Tesla offers renewable energy kits as load-shedding solution

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Tesla has introduced its rechargeable, renewable energy-powered battery systems for homes and businesses in SA.

The electric vehicle and energy giant is now taking online orders for Powerwall, a rechargeable home battery system that lets users store energy generated during the day, and use it to power homes at night, or during load-shedding.

In the event of a utility power outage, the Powerwall immediately disconnects the home electrical system from the grid and powers the residence.

For local businesses, Tesla has introduced Megapack, its latest battery energy storage system, designed and engineered specifically for commercial and utility-scale projects.

According to the company, Megapack significantly reduces the complexity of large-scale battery storage solutions – each Megapack comes from the factory fully-assembled with up to three megawatt hours (MWhs) of storage and 1.5MW of inverter capacity.

It also has an alternating current interface to help businesses achieve significant cost and time savings compared to traditional fossil fuel power plants.

SA continues to struggle with the crippling economic effects of prolonged load-shedding, with many small businesses citing load-shedding as the number one challenge they faced in 2019.

In SA, Powerwall has been available only through distributor Rubicon from the end of 2019. The energy giant is now taking direct orders online, with certified Tesla Energy installers to be assigned on the installation projects.

“The self-powered Powerwall paired with solar gives users the ability to own their energy and reduce reliance on the grid. Solar generates clean energy during the day, often more than your house can immediately use,” according to Tesla.

“It stores that excess solar energy and makes it available on demand, even after the sun has set. This stored energy can then power your home, and is easily monitored and controlled via the Tesla app.”

The Powerwall system has a storage capacity of 14-kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, of which 13.5kWh is usable.

It comes with built-in inverter, allowing it to be installed either with or without solar panels for use as a backup device in the event of a power outage.

According to Tesla’s Web site, the Powerwall price starts from R166 800, including hardware and equipment costs.

The tech giant says it has fitted more than 100 000 Powerwalls globally as part of the transition to sustainable energy.

“For utility-size installations, Megapack can act as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuel-based ‘peaker power plants’, as it uses stored excess solar or wind energy to support the grid’s peak period. Peaker power plants are often the most expensive form of electricity generation, and they are some of the least efficient on the grid,” says Tesla.

The company says it has developed its own software in-house to monitor and control Megapack installations.

Prices for the Megapack system vary depending on the business site size and energy requirements.

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