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Tesla unveils solar roof, new version of residential storage system

November 1, 2016 By Molly White in

Electric vehicle maker and energy storage system provider Tesla on Oct. 28 rolled out a new solar roof product, as well a new version of its Powerwall residential battery storage system.

Electric vehicles initially didn’t “look good, they had low range, they didn’t have good performance,” said Tesla Chairman and CEO Elon Musk at an Oct. 28 event in California unveiling the new solar roof and the latest version of Tesla’s Powerwall.

“We really need to make solar panels as appealing as electric cars have become,” Musk said.

In describing the solar roof product, Musk noted that the goal is to have solar roofs “that look better than a normal roof, generate electricity, last longer, have better insulation” and have an installed cost that is less than a normal roof, plus the cost of electricity.

Musk sketched out a future for homeowners that involves a “really appealing roof,” an energy storage system and an electric vehicle.

His presentation included before-and-after images of houses where the Tesla solar roof had been installed.

Musk also provided details on the new version of Tesla’s Powerwall residential battery storage system. “This is a big step above” the original version of the Powerwall, he said, noting that it is a 14-kilowatt-hour/7-kilowatt energy storage system.

Tesla unveiled the initial version of the Powerwall in the spring of 2015.

Other companies entering U.S. residential energy storage space

Tesla faces an increasingly crowded field in the U.S. residential storage market. This summer, Germany-based sonnen said that it planned to offer an energy storage product in U.S. residential markets.

More recently, residential solar company Sunrun and LG Chem on Oct. 26 unveiled a partnership to launch LG Chem’s energy storage technology in the U.S. residential solar market.

Tesla shipping new version of Powerpack

Meanwhile, Tesla in September began shipping version two of its utility-scale Powerpack energy storage system.  

Tesla said that with a new energy module and power electronics, Powerpack 2 provides twice the energy density and a more seamless integration into multiple levels of the grid.

Powerpack 2 is also now matched with a new inverter, designed by Tesla and manufactured at Tesla’s gigafactory in Nevada.

Tesla in September said that Southern California Edison selected Tesla to provide the investor-owned utility with a Powerpack battery storage system at SCE’s Mira Loma substation.

According to Tesla, to date, nearly 300 MWh of Tesla batteries have been deployed in 18 countries.

Tesla, Solar City merger

Tesla on June 21 announced an offer to acquire residential solar installer SolarCity to create what Tesla is calling the world’s first vertically integrated end-to-end clean energy company.

Tesla on Aug. 1 said that the company reached a merger agreement with SolarCity in a deal valued at $2.6 billion.

Article compliments of Public Power Daily
By Paul Ciampoli
News Director