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Free Powerwalls for California Residents?

Discussion in 'Tesla Energy' started by GSP, Apr 10, 2017.

  1. GSP

    GSP Member

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    I saw this article about SGIP grants in California:

    "The first round of bidding for this year's SGIP funds is expected to open May 1, with rates starting at about $0.50/Wh for small storage"

    Tesla charges $0.50/Wh for the residential powerwall ($7000 for 14 kWh). It looks like Californians can get a free powerwall if they pay for the labor and supplies to connect it to their home.

    California PUC approves doubling of SGIP funding, tilted toward storage

    More discussion here, including link to the SGIP website:

    Powerwall 2 "waiting list"


    GSP
     
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  2. TheTalkingMule

    TheTalkingMule Active Member

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    Considering how much electricity is curtailed(wasted) in California pretty much every day, it's hard to argue that free storage isn't a net savings for all ratepayers in California. If the cost were about half that of today's Powerwall 2 pricing(which it will shortly) the argument would be even stronger.
     
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  3. bonaire

    bonaire Active Member

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    Don't forget to factor in round trip losses when charging/discharging a battery. If one is cycled daily, say it is 100kWh and 80kWh state of charge is cycled daily, that takes roughly 15% extra energy for the cycle (Per Tesla's spec on powerpacks), or 12 kWh lost to do the cycling work. If the system doesn't use renewables to offset this loss, then a battery is a net energy consumer. If you install 5KW of solar on a roof and the battery is charged at night from the grid, then the offset of energy loss for that charge cycle is offset by the 5KW of local solar PV. If the battery simply uses the "excess available" night time grid energy and dumps its energy during grid peaks of 5pm-8pm, then it can also be a net "good" even by burning that extra 15% energy. Much like pumped hydro - energy isn't free, but it can be moved around the 24-hour daily demand curve.

    If the free battery in california is requiring a new solar pv install at the same time, then the net power production versus the net losses is a positive if it helps stop use of peaking plants. Installers, knowing that the "powerwall is free" may write in a bit higher than usual labor costs. Watch for that if you are getting pricing.
     
  4. TheTalkingMule

    TheTalkingMule Active Member

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    Round-trip losses don't mean anything when your fuel is existing(and increasing) waste that had zero marginal cost in the first place. If you can source the battery tech cheaply, and excess appears frequently enough, how could it be argued that any capital outlay is better than an effort to absorb what is regularly just "burned off"?

    Saw an article today about a gas/battery "hybrid plant" going online somewhere in CA. If they're really curtailing that much supply at peak, why would you need the gas peaker component of that new plant? Wouldn't it be much more rational to use all the allocated capital for battery storage?
     
  5. mmd

    mmd Active Member

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    Curtailing is not "burning off"; it is just reducing production. Neither is it free energy at zero marginal costs.
    The utility gives some incentives so some of the producers decide to stop production. If the incentive is larger than the profit, a producer could stop producing. Only some of the renewable generation, such as wind and solar, is hard to curtail and may be almost free. But we are still far from the point where solar and wind can produce 100% of the energy consumption.
    So, really, there is no "burning off" for most of the grids. Besides, there is also the concept of demand shifting, such as reducing rate to let electric cars charge at the peak generation periods.

    the definition of curtail

    curtail
    verb (used with object)
    1. to cut short; cut off a part of; abridge; reduce; diminish.
     

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