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Tesla Remote Solar [Product Idea]

Ed Hart

Member
Nov 5, 2014
302
279
Yorba Linda, CA
The attached is a fake flyer on a product that I wish the solar industry could/would offer. I would appreciate the views of others.
The starting point for taking the time to put this on paper is learning over the years that I have so many neighbors who cannot put solar on their homes - even here in sunny California - for some of the reasons listed. In other regions of the country, weather is particularly limiting to solar. Adding to these issue are the many challenges of mounting and maintaining solar power systems on individual homes.

Governments (state and federal) have created attractive incentives to install home solar. These incentives got consumers engaged in many different ways to reduce their use of carbon-generated energy. These incentives have worked well....but have only brought out the earliest adopters. So, this proposal is meant to bring in the next level of adopters: people who want the benefits of renewable energy, but cannot put solar on their homes.

Long term, the maintenance of millions of home roof-mounted solar systems will be an unwanted cost burden. Better to remotely locate the equipment where just a few people maintain the system.

The key "leap" in Remote Solar is that the homeowner gets to invest in - and benefit from - renewable energy by effectively being an investor in a small portion of a desert-located solar farm. And please remember, it doesn't matter where the solar-generated electrons go: they displace carbon-generated electrons somewhere in the grid. All electrons look alike, after all.

Yes, with the duck curve in mind, I envision that storage systems play a role, both the management of the home Powerwalls and utility scale storage via batteries and pumped hydro.

There are major political, legislative, utility and public utility commission issues to be reshaped and negotiated, but if the goal is to get consumers focused on renewable energy and energy conservation, this is a good approach. On paper, at least, it allows even renters to get involved.

I should also point out that having a Powerwall (or equivalent) at each home allows for future virtual power bank planning by local utilities.
 

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MorrisonHiker

S 100D 2021.4.18
Mar 8, 2015
9,650
8,890
Colorado
As @willow_hiller mentions, Community Solar is currently available and is very similar to this, but as you mention, it is local. One reason Community Solar or solar farms are local is because they would be run by the same utility or have contracts with the local utility. For example, I can only buy community solar in my county and I have to be covered by a specific electric company. While Tesla could put in huge solar farms in the American Southwest, the grid it connects to would be managed by different utilities which would certainly charge different rates that one's local utility. Different markets have different prices, so how much credit would one receive per kWh produced? In NM, that kWh might only be worth 5 cents but in California or Hawaii, it might be worth 30 to 50 cents. People in California wouldn't want to buy solar in NM since they'd only get 5 cents per kWh produced. It would make more sense for them to buy local and get 50 cents per kWh produced from local community solar. It's possible massive solar farms could bring down the cost but I doubt they'd be able to "sell" solar for 1/10th the price of a local community solar provider.
 

Ed Hart

Member
Nov 5, 2014
302
279
Yorba Linda, CA
As @willow_hiller mentions, Community Solar is currently available and is very similar to this, but as you mention, it is local. One reason Community Solar or solar farms are local is because they would be run by the same utility or have contracts with the local utility. For example, I can only buy community solar in my county and I have to be covered by a specific electric company. While Tesla could put in huge solar farms in the American Southwest, the grid it connects to would be managed by different utilities which would certainly charge different rates that one's local utility. Different markets have different prices, so how much credit would one receive per kWh produced? In NM, that kWh might only be worth 5 cents but in California or Hawaii, it might be worth 30 to 50 cents. People in California wouldn't want to buy solar in NM since they'd only get 5 cents per kWh produced. It would make more sense for them to buy local and get 50 cents per kWh produced from local community solar. It's possible massive solar farms could bring down the cost but I doubt they'd be able to "sell" solar for 1/10th the price of a local community solar provider.
Agreed as to the complexity. But....if we can get everyone to agree that putting solar panels on existing homes is not really a great idea, and if we can get everyone to agree that solar panels need to be in desert farms for best performance and concentrated maintenance and support, the rest of it becomes a series of negotiations. My own home is a good example. We are in SoCal, and our performance is good. BUT...this has been an expensive installation with far too much hardware on site. Here is a photo of my situation. It looks like a nuclear power plant!
 

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jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
8,769
9,726
Riverside Co. CA
Agreed as to the complexity. But....if we can get everyone to agree that putting solar panels on existing homes is not really a great idea, and if we can get everyone to agree that solar panels need to be in desert farms for best performance

No, I can not agree that "putting solar panels on existing homes is not a great idea", sorry.
 

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