Launched back in May, Tesla's Powerwall battery has the potential to change how the average household consumes energy. The slick new lithium-ion battery system relies on solar panels to generate electricity, and then stores it for when it's needed, which gives households the opportunity to not only cut their dependency on the electrical grid, but potentially free them up from it altogether.
And now the electric car manufacturer has announced that it will be making the rechargeable, wall-mounted home battery system available from local suppliers in Australia by the end of the year. "Powerwall will be available in Australia in late 2015 through a growing list of Tesla Energy partners," Tesla said in a statement today. "The Australian Tesla Energy partners, in the coming weeks, will announce their unique Powerwall offerings to Australian customers."
It's not yet been announced who those partners will be, but back in May, Canberra-based Reposit Power said it would be running trials with selected households in the coming months. According to Business Insider, the local pricing for the Powerwall battery will be set by those suppliers, but in the US the 7 kWh will set you back US$3,000 and the 10 kWh is $3,500, not including installation costs.
Homes with regular solar panel systems usually soak up solar energy during the day when everyone's at work or school, and either use it immediately or sell it back to the local grid. The Powerwall battery system, on the other hand, will store everything, which Tesla says is more cost effective, and also means no more reliance on fossil fuels ever, if you have your own solar panels.
"For those with solar panels already installed, it can store the excess energy being collected, allowing you to theoretically disconnect from the grid entirely," Hayley Williams reports for Gizmodo. "It can also allow users to utilise their own stored power at night, rather than losing out with the current electricity rates and feed-in-tariff system."
For those who don't have their own solar panels, the Powerwall battery will be fed by the local solar energy parters. "Our goal is to fundamentally change the way the world uses energy," Tesla CEO Elon Musk said back in May. "It sounds crazy, but we want to change the entire energy infrastructure of the world to zero carbon."
Bring it on.