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Tesla targets Australia as 1st market for Powerwall, deliveries in 2015

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Australia has been named as one of the first markets – along with North America – that will receive deliveries of Tesla’s much anticipated Powerwall residential battery storage system.

Tesla said on Thursday that it would be launching its 7kWh home energy storage units in Australia in late 2015, alongside North America and the DACH market in Europe, through a “growing list” of Tesla Energy partners. This is ahead of previous predictions of 2016.

 

tesla powerwall

One of those partners in Australia will be Canberra-based Reposit Power, which is rolling out a series of trials enabling households with solar and storage to trade energy during the day. Reposit announced in May that its technology would be integrated with the Tesla battery storage unit.

The California-based EV maker describes Australia as a core market for its Tesla Energy products, because of its high electricity costs and excellent solar resources, and the structure of its tariffs.

The Tesla launch earlier this year created a buzz of excitement around the world, and has already brought other manufacturers into the Australian market, and triggered a fall in battery storage prices. Some analysts say battery storage will be a mass market product by 2020, others say it could be before then.

UBS this week noted that households will play a central role in the move to a high renewable energy grid, because of the potential of battery storage to help consumers and grid operators.

Labor is pushing for a 50 per cent renewables target by 2030, although new prime minister Malcolm Turnbull describes this as “reckless”. The Greens want a much higher target, but the Nationals has rebuked any member who wants to support renewable energy, despite its popularity in the public.

Tesla, in its latest press release, says its daily cycling lithium-ion Powerwall battery is a compelling option for Australian households with rooftop solar, “due to the unique structure of retail electricity and the feed-in-tariff solar pricing options across the country.”


The biggest markets for battery storage in Australia will be those areas that pay little for the output from solar arrays to the grid. This includes all new installations, and in areas like NSW, where 160,000 households will lose their solar premium tariffs at the end of 2016.

Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts 33GWh of storage in Australia within 20 years, accompanied by 37GW of rooftop solar.

Tesla has also announced an upgraded battery capacity of 3.3kW, continuous and peak, that will allow solar customers to store the energy they generate during peak sunlight hours and use it at night, rather than drawing electricity from the grid.

Additional products supplied by Tesla Energy will include the 10kWh weekly cycle Powerwall which is compatible for residential back-up power and the Powerpack, a commercial and utility solution, grouping 100kWh battery blocks to scale from 500kWh to 10MWh+.

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  • JeffJL

    So Mr Musk has chosen Australia to be one of the first places to distribute the Powerwall. Must have been looking at the price other US companies charge for stuff in Australia compared to elsewhere around the world.

    • VictimsFamily

      I think they were mentioning around USD$3500, which would (obviously) translate to around AUD$7999 here.

      • BlizzardStrom

        But as of right now $3500 USD = $4883 AUD

        • VictimsFamily

          It was intended to be a sarcastic joke, in support of what JeffJL said above regarding Australians getting screwed on US imported tech products.
          I’ll issue a warning for pedants if ever I try to make light of anything in future.

        • 3and20

          You forgot GST, import costs, duties, and the no-lube-surprise-butt-rape “levy”

          • HA HA HA – have not heard that one before

          • ray johnson

            he means the australia tax that all multi nationals try to add on us

          • 3and20

            Thats the one!

          • bargal20

            And everyone seems to forget that most US states have sales and service taxes, just as Australian states did until introduction of the GST.

          • 3and20

            Huh? what Australian states had sales tax before the GST? at any rate, the sales tax is only one portion of why it sucks to buy things in Australia.

          • JonathanMaddox

            We had a *federal* wholesale sales tax. It wasn’t near as obvious to consumers as the state retail sales taxes in the USA. Nor even as obvious as the national GST is now.

            http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/featurearticlesbytitle/AED4428C69C7E6D4CA256FD80078D6E5?OpenDocument

    • Jacob

      It is Mr JB Straubel who knows how costly electricity is in AUS and Germany.

      Musk is busy with SpaceX.

    • James

      I have a feeling it will cost atleast AUD $10,000K (or $9999), knowing how we always get ripped off by everyone (including our own government).

      • Ronald Brakels

        The 7 kilowatt-hour Tesla Powerwall is $3,000 in the US. That comes to about $4,700 Australian dollars at the moment, including GST. And presumably you will need to pay someone to bring it to your home and install it, but margins in the solar installation industry are not high and I don’t suspect they will be high for battery storage. If installers ask for too much, look around and try to find someone cheaper.

        • Richard

          Don’t you think that installer know what price each other is charging. Its know as keeping profitability viable all be it artificially. There is now way I’d cut my price and find myself on the outer and then unable to source equipment because I’ve been blacklisted and nor will anyone else. $10K is about right and as the A$ drops further to the US$ that price will go up and not just by the exchange rate. You will also find that Electrical Techs won’t charge you $200/hr they will give you an install price not and hourly rate so expect at least $2000 plus materials.

          • Ronald Brakels

            So I guess it would work something like this:

            1. Tesla blacklists anyone who installs Powerwalls for less than around $10,000.
            2. ????
            3. Profit.

            Is that right?

          • Richard

            The supply chain and not Tesla can refuse sale to installers. Tesla won’t sell to the general public and I doubt Bunnings or Maters will ever supply Tesla equipment.
            I’ve seen contractors put on the outer and are quoted escalated prices making them noncompetitive.
            Its called protecting the market.

          • Ronald Brakels

            Hmmm… Sounds like I can make a fortune as a blacklisted Tesla Powerwall installer then. My business purchases the Powerwalls direct from Tesla, I buy some cables from China and a few screws and bolts from ebay, and Bob’s my uncle. I’ll have to look into it – as soon as Powerwalls start being installed for about $10,000.

          • Richard

            On the point about buying cables from China. Just make sure you don’t become the next “Cable Girl” causing a huge problem in the industry.
            http://www.news.com.au/finance/money/cable-girl-scandal-could-cost-80-million/story-e6frfmci-1227065770669

          • Ronald Brakels

            Don’t worry. When I lay a cable, everyone is impressed with its quality.

          • Richard

            That was not the point. the laying of the cable is not the issue. Cable girl imported cheap deadly cable and supplied it to Masters, Home Hardware, and numerous electrical outlets. This effects some 40,000 Australian homes. Did you not read the link.

          • Ronald Brakels

            What can I say? I just can’t let a chance to boast about my cable laying skills go by. I’ve even gotten random fan email from Indonesia where, working from a photo, they said my cable must have been at least 8.6 Courics. I have no idea what they were talking about, but I appreciated it none the less.

          • juxx0r

            Ronald, best post ever, i cried laughing.

    • JMO

      He chose it because of the organic nature of Australia’s solar growth. We are the global petri dish of solar distribution at the moment. Australia has nowhere near the largest installation base of solar, but other countries continue to HEAVILY subsidise their solar industries. Australia has steadily been winding back their subsidy programs and, in NSW at least, the primary subsidy (feed-in-tariff) will wind up at the end of 2016.

      What better market to test the waters in? Take the lessons you learn here and use them in more profitable markets.

      And if you don’t like paying more for global products, you should probably move to a bigger country that isn’t located at the ass end of the world.

      • JonathanMaddox

        All true, but Germany has been rolling back its feed-in tariffs as well, and in a much steadier and more consistent fashion than Australia’s various jurisdictions have done. Well-designed subsidy legislation builds in its own retraction as a measured consequence of the policy’s success, so you don’t get obstinate politicians complaining that it has “worked too well” and blown its budget and repealing it out of the blue, spooking the market which was meant to be encouraged.

  • Phil

    The energy costs here are obscene and holding back industry and our competitiveness. network charges of $1.30 a day in some areas (that’s 13 cents per kwh for 10 kwh per day ) on top of 26 cents per kwh consumption plus gst AND smart meter charges of $100-$200 on top of that in Victoria – per annum ! With modern air cons, front load washers , induction cooktops . led backlit tv and lighting and solar hot water . Even a normal household can get by with not much more than 10kwh per day.

    • 42.9c for 10kwh i.e. one day sounds cheap. 55c for smart meter charges at the most ($200pa) = less than $1 per day?!

      What sux above is that the pricing system doesn’t really incentivise people to save/conserve energy – the actual consumption component is about a quarter.. :(
      The other thing is that unless people can disconnect from the grid, the 3/4 of charges still apply (assuming their energy needs are met by the solar generation…). unless feed-in tariffs really work in people’s favour…?

      • nakedChimp

        The latter (fixed charges) developed within the last 12 months.. and FiTs have been driven down for longer already.
        So yeah.. it’s designed to make you stay on the grid and not consider solar as it won’t help your bottom line unless you go off-grid completely, but storage prices don’t seem to be there quite yet and inconvenience is till too big.
        Wonder what rabbit will be pulled out once that happens though..

    • Jacob

      We need to invent split system fridges. Then we get even more efficiency.

      • nakedChimp

        put inverter driven compressors in there, so the start up current isn’t so intense which means it’s easier to drive by backup storage as the converters don’t need to be so big (inrush current).

        • Aaron Leeming

          new fridges run inverter compressors

      • Phil

        The Inverter fridges are almost mainstream now. Samsung are selling them for around $1000 for a 400 litre model and they have a 10 year compressor warranty (part only) .They rate 4 stars , versus 2.5 for the old tech ones. Apparently they hold the temps and recover quicker than the old tech fridges . Much like inverter air cons. So we have dinosaurs ( power companies) versus progessive thinkers – appliance companies and off gridders ! Who will win i wonder …. Doh !

    • Rob S

      “The energy costs here are obscene”
      Compared to cost of network? Compared to other countries? States?
      Just saying they are obscene and then just quoting prices doesn’t really support the argument unless you put in relevant comparisons.

      • Phil

        Agreed , so incl the 10% gst , someone in Coffs Harbour NSW Australia on an origin standing offer will pay 24.39 cents per kwh and a fixed access charge for the network of $1.44 ( daily supply charge).If your in Victoria add $100 – $200 for the smart meter cost per annum and consumption is between 14.68 and 33.59c per kwh depending on time of day . with a supply charge of $1.01 per day . These are all Origin energy prices The U.S average retail price per kwh is 9.84 cents . I am not sure what access and smart meter fees they pay . But they like us have coal and gas in their own “backyard” so are a similar match https://www.originenergy.com.au/for-home/electricity-and-gas/plans/energy-price-fact-sheets.html#nsw

        • Rob S

          Hardly call that a relevant comparison Phil. That was just more complaining about what we pay and then throw in an average of some other country…btw the U.S average retail price is 12.93 cents (http://www.eia.gov/electricity/sales_revenue_price/ (Table T5.a))

          I’d be interested to know how much network cost (poles and wires) per household etc is included in the per kWh rates.

          • Phil

            I myself am 100% off grid and pay 22 cents a kwh with 6 x 9’s uptime , a 10kwh per day guaranteed supply and no fixed costs or cpi increases and have spare energy above and beyond the minimum spec most times for free . So i guess where i’m coming from what people in the grid connected world pay seems Obscene. But hey that’s only my opinion based on my actuals, If people want to pay double or triple what i pay DIY that’s for them to decide.The frightening thing is my DIY system is 99.9999% reliable versus a 97% uptime in bad storm seasons and 99% in normal ones in the brisbane metro area.

          • Rob S

            Sorry I am not completely up with the jargon..6×9’s?…also how did you come to 22c/kWh?
            Again sorry I am still on a steep learning curve in regard to renewables

          • Phil

            9’S refers to uptime . So 3×9’s = 99.9 % uptime or down due repairs etc for 0.1% of the year or 8.76 hours per year .We were down for 8 days when the floods hit and we were not even flooded. And for a couple of days with big storms , thats why i went off grid , i got sick and tired of starting and paying to run the noisy generator. The cost of ownership is easy to calculate and involves the capital cost up front with an assumption you borrowed the money as part of your home loan . So that for me is $7k or $1 day interest . The cost is less but some primary of the loan is paid back over the loan life. Then add the costs each year to replace the worn out items , ie batteries and other hardware , which varies from 7 years to 25 years. That’s an allowance of $365 a year ( it’s actually less) Then add fuel and genset consumables of 30 litres fuel a year , oil change , air filter , spark plug and other consumables and thats 20 cents a day . As the system is 10kwh per day thats $2.20 a day all up divide by 10 . And another bonus i no longer have people who have no I.D , a 20 year old filthy car and look like criminals come and read my meter. Or give me a bill for 4 times my normal amount because they claim they could not read the meter due flooding. Remember this is the Brisbane Metro area , not woop woop and it’s a GOC runs the show and they have no respect for their customers – like most governments – so i made them REDUNDANT !

          • Rob S

            Ok thanks for explaining that Phil. Very cool. I do have a question though…how much time do you have to devote to maintaining it all? shouldn’t that be included in the cost?
            Cheers

          • Phil

            The wet cells need a top up every 3 weeks , thats about 5 minutes work. You could use an auto waterer but i am too stingy to spend the $300 to do that and i like to check things up close frequently anyway. The solar panels need a run over with a mop to remove dust every 6 months , but i suppose all solar installs have that issue , thats 30 minutes . The rest is a labour of love so it’s a a hobby , a bit like working on your motorbike or mountain bike , or watering the garden , or running a vegetable patch .You do it because you don’t see it as a cost , in fact it’s fun and as a bonus you save money . depends on the individual , it’s not for all.

    • James

      Agreed, we pay one of the highest Energy costs in the world (in one report second highest in world) even when relative to income.

      It’s not just electrcity, even with oil prices crashing 50%, our fuel pump prices remain pretty much unchanged, and Gas prices are actually going up, doubling in some areas despite Gas prices crashing all around the world.

      I also fear battery solution like powerwall will cause the energy companies to ramp up their prices even more citing “losses incurred” from the adoption of home batteries.

      • Don Triche

        we just had gas go down to 2 dollars a gallon. in the states.

        • Mike W

          Natural gas not gasoline/petroleum. Also note that US gallons (~3.8L) are substantially different to gallons (~4.5L) in the rest of the world.

  • Steve h

    Other bussiness models could work for areas that have high feed in tariffs.
    As someone receiving a good feed in tariff I would consider storage to not only shift away from high tarrif times but also to add dedicated systems that could use the stored energy.
    Such As heating or cooling systems utilising dedicated storage.

    • JMO

      Also as someone who receives a high FIT ($0.60), I consider storage to be the logical choice once my FIT is no longer offered. My solar installation has already well and truly paid for itself. Anybody that could, but did not throw as much solar on their roof as they could during the $0.60 FIT days should be kicking themselves. We haven’t had an electricity “bill” since 2010, and average about $3200 a year in cheques from AGL. In addition, we have rented that property for the past couple of years and charge the tenants for electricity usage, so that one install is making about $6500 profit a year. Easily enough to pay for some batteries, we will then simply adjust rental rates accordingly.

  • We forget there are Australia manufacturers selling battery systems Like ZEN in South Australia.

    #UIWGroup is working toward developments that are low impact sustainable urban communities. with integrated energy systems that will include micro grids.

  • Ant..

    In FNQ the tariff is 0.2791 kWH. With a 5.75 kW Enphase Hybrid System i am sending back to the grid on average 12 kWH per day and get paid 0.0653 kWH. [These figures including running a pool pump and pool heater [heat pump] 6 hours per day. My out of sunlight power consumption averages 6 kWH per day that translates to an annual cost of approximately 611.00 less the tariff feed in rate which I have not bothered to calculate. A 7 – 10 kW system with a 10 year payback would have to cost installed $6,000. With pricing yet to be divulged I am not optimistic that they will get traction in the short term. Perhaps if power prices were to double in the next two or three years you might see the numbers making some sense.

  • Tom Osborn

    Talking about “costs” is a bit fraught. SELL a house with solar and a powerwall, and expect the buyer to pay many multiples of whatever you spent. It happened 20 years ago with reverse-cycle air-conditioning where “identical house” with it were worth $50K more (and that’s 20 years back)…

  • Tony Carden

    I live in a unit like a lot of people and have nowhere to install any solar panels. I also have no room to install the power wall. But so long as I am not expected to subsidize other people’s solar desires I think it is great.

    • JMO

      In what way will you be subsidsing my $10,000 investment?

      Supply and demand. If enough people stop consuming from the grid you will start paying more for electricity (until the market reaches tipping point and *everybody* starts storing electricity).

    • Mike Shackleton

      There are companies out there that can install solar systems onto blocks of flats. The trick is you have to get the body corp on board.

  • goiter

    http://freezer2fridge.com/

    Energy saving fridge,make your own!

  • johnybizzaro

    Here it is folks. Australia is the market because the economy in the US is dead. The pundits and media whores will get in here and try to make up any excuse. Don’t you worry with the corruption and stupidity they will wipe out the middle class in australia and then they won’t be able to afford anything.

    The economy is buying and selling and that is called trade. Now if i cut my costs, I cut your income. If you cut your costs , you cut my income. Now if the government cuts its costs. Who is spending? The morons will never get this paragraph and just listen to the main stream media whore who do anything the masters tell them.

  • Marc Talloen

    We are running and event in Lismore NSW on the 5th to 7th November the event is “we are building low impact sustainable urban communities” These communities are to supplied with up to 20 electric cars plus charging station. The developments will also be designed for battery storage and micro-grids.

    Could we ask you if we would be interested in bringing down your vehicle to the event for the day. So how can I help you to help us.

    I have also contacted Tesla dealer if they have any other owners who might be interested

    Contact details: http://www.uiwg.com.au/contact.html

    Regards
    Ian Cleland – Projects director and Social entrepreneur