California-based Tesla Motors and the German energy and IT company Lichtblick announced that they have entered into a global energy partnership to integrate Tesla’s new Powerwall Home Batteries into the energy market with the help of Lichtblick’s IT platform „SchwarmDirigent“.
They wanted to start their collaboration in Germany and expand it to the EU, the USA, Australia and New Zealand, the companies said.
On 30 April 2015, Tesla’s new Powerwall home battery was unveiled by CEO Elon Musk. Tesla describes the Powerwall as the missing link to bridge the gap between renewable energy supply and demand, making home solar energy available when needed. Powerwall charges using electricity generated from solar panels, in particular when utility rates are low and powers homes at times when solar power is not directly available and has to be purchased from a utility. The battery also fortifies homes against power outages by providing a backup electricity supply.
Powerwall comes at a cost of $ 3,500 for 10 kWh model intended for backup applications and as a 7 kWh model, costing $ 3,000 for daily cycle applications. According to Tesla, the batteries weigh 220 lbs/100 kg and measure 51.2″ x 33.9″ x 7.1″ respectively 1300 mm x 860 mm x 180 mm. They are stackable up to 90 kWh total for the 10 kWh battery and 63 kWh total for the 7 kWh battery.
Lichtblick will collaborate by linking decentralized producers and storage systems and connecting them to the energy markets through its SchwarmDirigent IT platform. The company pointed out that it already operates a digital power plant in Germany with over a thousand decentralized units. Once linked to the cluster, the Tesla Powerwall owners will be able to draw excess wind and solar power from the electricity network and then, during calm or cloudy periods, use this electricity in buildings or feed it back into the network. Consumers who integrate their batteries into the cluster will benefit from energy market revenues through LichtBlick, the company said.
The SchwarmDirigent IT platform has its roots in a partnership between Volkswagen (VW) and Lichtblick aimed at selling the micro combined heat and power plant EcoBlue developed by VW. The partnership has meanwhile been discontinued (for more information in German, please see here).