Australia named first market to receive Tesla's Powerwall solar-energy battery

By Dino Angelov

Australia will become the first country to get its hands on Tesla’s new Powerwall storage battery system as the company confirmed plans to make the system available to consumers by the end of 2015.  

“Powerwall will be available in Australia in late 2015 through a growing list of Tesla Energy partners,” the company said in a statement. “The Australian Tesla Energy partners, in the coming weeks, will announce their unique Powerwall offerings to Australian customers.”

• Related content: [Video] Tesla Comes To Australia, Fuel Industry In Question?

The 7kWh home battery, which sits on an interior wall and is comprised of a lithium-ion battery, allows homes with solar panels to store the energy produced during peak sunlight hours for use at night. In addition, users can charge their Powerwall during offpeak periods and run their homes off the pack during peak hours, thus reducing their utility bills. The system is currently priced at AUD$4,173.

With more than 1.3 million households with rooftop solar, including high electricity costs and excellent solar resources, Australia is an ideal candidate for the launch of Powerball.

“Tesla’s arrival is important because they have such a high profile,” said Prof Anthony Vassallo, a sustainable energy expert at the University of Sydney. “The Tesla product isn’t unique by any stretch, but it’s the Apple brand of the battery storage industry, they have the sex appeal that others don’t.

“Solar PV and batteries are such a wonderful combination. Australians have demonstrated they are quite happy to purchase PV systems, Australia has a great solar resource and to have a battery to store that makes a lot of sense.

• Related content: [Video] Partnership between Tesla and Uber could doom the taxi industry

“There are packages of PV and batteries being offered by retailers and, as prices come down, we’ll see a lot more of this. Tesla’s price point in the US – of about US$3,000 ($4,173) – would be competitive here, it will sharpen up the players to make more efficient and higher-performing systems.”

According to Business Insider, Australia will also get the the 10kWh weekly cycle Powerwall, which is compatible for residential back-up power and Powerpack, and the commercial solution of 100kWh battery blocks grouped to scale from 500kWh to 10MWh+.

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