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First Tesla Whole-House Solar Battery Installed

Posted by Green Builder Staff

May 2, 2016 11:50:41 AM

With a sleek design that could have emerged from Apple, the new battery has spurred mixed reactions, and it's facing competition in the U.S.Tesla_Powerwall_Battery.jpg

The lack of a reliable, efficient storage system has held residential solar back for a long time. The solar industry has managed to grow despite this, thanks in large part to feed-in tariffs (net metering in th U.S.).

Tesla is pushing ahead with its much publicized plan to make home storage of power much more turnkey and reliable than has been the case in the past. The photo shows their first UK installation of the new Powerwall battery.

Tesla, in a sense, is betting on the sloppy politics of net metering, especially in the U.S., where utilities are fighting to keep solar from cutting into their profits, although that assessment is hotly contested. Nevada and Hawaii only recently stopped offering any kind of net metering, under pressure from utilities. In our view, of course, they're merely delaying the inevitable, as the economics of solar make the shift to clean energy a no brainer.

So the promise of a self-contained, efficient battery for solar storage is bound to get a lot of attention. but at about $7,000 installed, is theTesla Powerwall's price, technology and timing right? Tesla has had strong competition from Sonnen, a German company, which hit the market in Germany at the end of 2015, at a similar price, and claims to be about to launch a U.S. push.

The Powerwall is not yet available in the U.S. The German-made Sonnen is, however, or will be soon. At least that's what the company told CleanTechnica two months ago: that it had more than 1,000 orders in Germany and about 30 distributors in place in the U.S. But Sonnen's web presence (HERE) has gone lifeless, and left no forwarding info. If you know their status, email us and we will update this post.

Image: Tesla Powerwall (from their website)

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