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Tesla is supplying 4 MWh in storage for Solar city/Walmart deal next year.

Discussion in 'TSLA Investor Discussions' started by blakegallagher, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. blakegallagher

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    #1 blakegallagher, Nov 20, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2014
    I think we will hear about more upcoming battery storage as we close out the year.

    http://investors.solarcity.com/common/mobile/iphone/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=884264&CompanyID=AMDA-14LQRE&mobileid=

    Here is an older article about tesla testing these batteries to reduce peak load at Fremont.

    http://insideevs.com/tesla-cto-straubel-batteries-energy-storage-technology/

    And it looks like Tesla is not the only one who has been talking to the Utilities about grid storage.

    http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/194552-worlds-largest-lithium-ion-battery-to-be-built-in-southern-california-dwarfs-previous-installations

    This would be a great subject in the next earnings call. I would love to get analyst thinking about this a little more.
     
  2. jhm

    jhm Active Member

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    This is nice, but it seems that Wal-Mart is just dabbling with stationary. 10 stores @ 400 kWh = 47 cars @ 85 kWh = 0.8 basis points of 50 GWh. When this thing starts to takes off...

    Note Wal-Mart's typical store is getting about 500 kW of solar which should produce about 2.5 kWh per day. So 400 kWh of storage is just 16% of the solar power produced. They could push this out to 600 kW solar plus 1000 kWh storage and store just 1/3 of their solar energy per day. Or 800 kW solar plus 2000 kWh storage to capture 1/2 of their solar energy.

    So when Wal-Mart gets serious about storage they could be installing 1 - 2 MWh per store. Plus, they will be able to throw up a lot more solar.
     
  3. blakegallagher

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    I think right now they are just using the batteries to shave peak demand. The utility projects that Tesla sees in the future is much more exciting.

    I like to think maybe it will become like the auto line where they just crank these things out and scale up speed as they go :)
     
  4. bonaire

    bonaire Active Member

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    #4 bonaire, Nov 21, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2014
    Jhm, why do you think stores need more than 400kWh of storage? Do you know how the system works? Most likely it is for CA based stores. walmart took advantage of rich tax credits to lower their power costs with solar in CA and now want to hedge against peak load pricing by the utilities during times when their solar array does not fully support the store power draw during peak times or there is intermittancy. This can be done with a 400 kWh storage device offering peak output of 200KW. The way peak load shaving works is the battery puts out power enough to lower the grid draw for a period of time when the peak load occurs. Usually mid afternoon with the highest air condition usage on a sunny day. But on a cloudy but hot day, you can get periods of high AC draw and low solar output leading to higher peak charges from the utility. Even though stores have solar, on cloudy days, they still may pay peak load fees. The battery can also help with selective power for blackout periods or when signaled from the utility to go into higher output mode due to grid constraints. That is the future of smartgrids which tell downstream customers to cut back due to limits in the systems' capability.

    one thing to think about is utilities in CA are looking to limit net metering in the next few years. Big arrays on walmart stores equate to a big savings in store electric bills while lowering revenues to the grid. Utilities want to cut net metering down to at least wholesale feedback pricing. That may be less than half the benefit of net metering. On top of that, peak load fees make having solar a lower return on investment long term. With battery systems, businesses like walmart can get ahead of this and cut their costs by shaving peak load fees now and storing solar power themselves rather than sharing it on the grid. It actually makes the community "good" of solar lessen because now your array does not feed your own needs plus your neighbors, it tries to keep the power local so that it limits feedback to the grid. As net metering is cut, businesses will look for tax grants and credits to help pay for battery systems to be installed to help cut their power bills once again. It is all about the money, really. Cutting expenses through peak load shaving has been around a long while. Various other companies already offer products to do this. It is not much different than computer room UPS systems which have been around for nearly three decades. Just google peak load shaving.

    in CA, the grid peak usage is between 5pm and 8pm. This is the time when businesses may have to use the batteries to slow down their grid draw if they are getting hit with peak load fees. Solar is still producing during those hours and batteries can also put out power lowering the grid draw. However if the solar array was charging batteries from say 10am through 3pm then it was perhaps not sending excess power back to the grid as much, lessening the community sharing nature of peak sun. That in turn raises grid demand earlier in the day.

    What some companies have done to cut peak load is a full lighting system replacement to LED or newer forms of FL lighting. More light with less power and heat. Reducing demand need is always cheaper than adding renewables and batteries. Unless there is government money paying for it. Cutting lighting-heat cuts AC usage. Ever walk into a Home Depot lighting department with all the light bulbs glowing? They have replaced most of the demo lights with LED bulbs over incandescents of a few years ago. That is one example.

    final thing about CA. Much of this is due to state legislation. They seem to be unwilling to install new base load plants, such as nuclear. By not growing base load and messing around with various forms of renewables and pricing structures, they are becoming an island of their own in terms of power pricing and local regulation. It may not end well for the common solar homeowner customer who finds that net metering goes away and their smart meters report and factor in peak load pricing too. Solar city is hoping to sell you a battery to solve this problem and I am sure the CA government and federal incentives will be there to help pay for it.

    it wasn't long ago that Nat Gas fuel cells on site were going to be a clean way to shave power. Heard of a company called Bloom Energy? The Bloom Box? Many hydrogen fuel cell companies are also trying to get into the peak load shaving and green energy business too. Getting crowded and diluted.

    some good info:
    Making the Case for Smart Grid to Shave Peak Power : Greentech Media
    Bloom Energy Server - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  5. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    I don't think it's dabbling, I think it's the basic economics of it. The greatest bang for the buck will come from demand-response and lowering peak demand, which doesn't need as much battery. Only when battery prices fall will they scale up. CA's credits will help early adoption there, but I think the signs are that price drops will lead to huge growth in installations from 2018/2019. And that will feed back into solar PV capacity, so SolarCity will really benefit from their NY facility.
     
  6. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

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    Note that Southern California Edison has agreed to contract for 85 MW of behind-the-meter storage in its service territory, which is a different deal than the Walmart transaction. As the saying goes, "there's gold in them thar hills."
     
  7. Familial Rhino

    Familial Rhino Endangerous Herbivore

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    MWh?
     
  8. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Err...is it me, or are you off with some of the decimals somewhere?
     
  9. 3mp_kwh

    3mp_kwh Member

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    I think we'll see the peak load charges (demand charges) and monthly fees for solar keep expanding, long before net metering will go away. It will become less economically attractive, but it could be many years before solar + battery extinguish it. The reason is cost. What works for Walmart, and the way their energy is probably priced, doesn't fit the residential model so well. Of the 89MW I believe they have, some of it is in SREC/REC states, where they may have to sell the watts back in order to be credited for the RECs. In those instances, or of course where power is cheaper, battery use could see a very slow climb.
     
  10. bonaire

    bonaire Active Member

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    500 kW of solar should put out about 5 times that in Wh on a good day maybe 2.5 MWh. Surely a surplus for the store unless they are running a large cooking class in the home appliance department on a 100*F day in August. But are we sure a store has 500 kW? That is large. Now, five hot, cloudy days would also equal 2.5 MWh total over the five days. If the batteries were charged/drained a few times per day, it is possible they could utilize 50% of the battery charge a couple times a day. Now, 10-15% is lost during charging alone to heat and resistance. That heat is going to need to be shuttled out of the room or building via AC.

    My own 8kW array has given me over 50kWh a day, many times. But that 50 kWh off the meter is not consumed cleanly - some 5% is lost to wire length, heat and more.
     
  11. AudubonB

    AudubonB Mild-mannered Moderator Lord Vetinari*

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    Right - that's what I thought. The provided "2.5kWh" was just a typo, or an off-with-the-decimals. Thanks!
     
  12. jhm

    jhm Active Member

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    #12 jhm, Nov 21, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2014
    Yes, 5 h * 500 kW = 2500 kWh = 2.5 MWh.

    The total of NY, OR, and PR id 20 rooftop projects totalling 4.8 MW for an average of 240 kW per project. So my hypothetical of 500 kW is a little on the large side, though the average in NY is 400 kWh.

    So now 5 h* 240 kW = 1.2 MWh. With this in mind, 400 kWh of storage looks pretty reasonable.
     
  13. drees

    drees Active Member

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    Actually, it's bigger than that, it's over 250 MW of storage:

    25.6 MW of Thermal Energy Storage
    235.5 MW of Battery Energy Storage

    SCE Local Capacity Requirements (LCR) RFO
     
  14. bonaire

    bonaire Active Member

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    #14 bonaire, Nov 22, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2014
    Robert, from the link provided above by drees to SCE, the providers of the storage are not SCTY or Tesla. Your post made it sound like a deal was done between SCE and the Rive/Musk establishment. Maybe some day it will as they can team up with home site installation fast approvals for home owners. But as my big post on page 1 said, there are lots of companies already in the space and those who think SCTY, Tesla and the Gigafactory making 18650 cells is going to break in and do well need to dig deeper into the industry, more likely sales with be to homeowners, such as Tesla drivers and other ardent "fans".

    http://advmicrogrid.com/AMS_Release.pdf
    the timescale is also long, as noted:
     
  15. Jackl1956

    Jackl1956 Member

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    I don't agree. SolarCity brings an accomplished sales organization to the table. SolarCity's sales team coupled with Tesla's demand logic product will perform well in both the commercial and industrial markets.
     
  16. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Do you have batteries, Bonaire? I'm wondering how much heat a typical load balancing pack puts out.

    I think you are right in that the utilities will soon switch to much more fine grained time of use metering which will incentivize PV solar customers to install batteries to handle the 5pm to 8pm new duck peak.
     
  17. Gerasimental

    Gerasimental Member

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    Does anyone have any info on how the Walmart pilot project went? If it went well, could a nationwide deal to supply Walmart stores with batteries be on the table for April 30th?
     
  18. StapleGun

    StapleGun Member

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    If they did decide to do a nationwide rollout to all 4520 stores, with 400 kwh per store, that would be about 1800 Mwh. At $300/kwh that would be $542 million in revenue. 2mwh per store would be around $2.7 billion!
     

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