There is no shortage of reasons why you should combine your solar system with Tesla Powerwall, but here are five to get you started:
- Energy independence
One of the most enticing aspects of investing in a solar system for your home is the sense of finally wriggling out from under the thumb of energy companies and their debilitatingly repetitive bills. After all, you’ve got all this roof space where free solar energy is simply pouring down and all you have to do is install some panels. Too easy, right?
Well, not quite. Obviously, any electricity you use during the day when the sun is shining is covered, and you may get some kickbacks on solar energy you export to the grid, but despite your proactive environmentally friendly thinking, the bills keep showing up. Thankfully, the bills are cheaper, but you want something better than cheap, don’t you? You want independence, and when it comes to energy independence, you’ll need to combine your solar panels with a home energy storage system like Tesla Powerwall.
- Blackout protection
As we’ve all learnt during the Covid-19 pandemic, the world is not obliged to do us any favours, and that goes for the weather too. But it’s not just wind, lightning strikes and other natural events that cause power outages, but also the increasing complexity of modern supply and demand on an antiquated network. And while no large electricity system is perfect and blackouts ultimately unavoidable, they’re also a real hassle.
No one enjoys a power cut, and no one enjoys missing the end of the game in order to fetch a torch and begin the laborious task of salvaging food from the fridge. But that’s the least of a blackout’s impact, after all, many of us are increasingly working from home using our computers, and if you’ve got an important presentation coming up it is not unusual to experience anxiety at the very real threat of an outage. And of course, these are only minor concerns compared to the danger posed by a power cut.
Unfortunately, what many people don’t realise, even if they already have solar installed on their rooftop, is that if the grid goes down it takes your solar down with it. This is for the very good reason that grid-connected solar generators can’t be exporting power to the grid while workers are trying to fix the lines. There is, however, an exception, and that is if your rooftop solar system is connected to a residential battery like Tesla Powerwall.
This combined solar-plus-storage system automatically disconnects from the grid in the event of an outage and establishes its own minigrid or island. This is what is called “blackout protection”, and it ensures the maintenance of your energy independence when the network fails. While the rest of the area is knocked out, it is feasible that you won’t even realise until your neighbour knocks on the door asking if they can watch Netflix with you.
This is because Tesla Powerwall disconnects and restores backup power in a fraction of a second and if the outage persists more than five minutes the Tesla app will ping you in order to manage your home energy system’s settings, ensuring the most efficient prioritisation of appliances.
- Getting the most out of your solar panels
One of the most enticing aspects of combining home storage with your residential solar system is the clear and obvious increase in your solar self-consumption. This is an increasingly attractive option now that solar adoption in Australia has reached levels in many parts of the country where feed-in-tariffs (FITs) are no longer the lucrative solar source of income they once were. Indeed, in some particularly congested areas of the grid the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) is debating whether to impose charges on distributed power exported to the grid during particular times of day.
Although the disparity might’ve lessened ever so slightly during the spate of Covid-19 lockdowns, most people use more electricity at night than during the day. Typically, the un-utilised solar is exported to the grid for a tidy little payment. But as those payments dwindle and the electricity prices at peak hours in the evenings tend to increase more often than not, the allure of combining your residential solar system with a home battery is only getting stronger.
By teaming up your solar panels with a Tesla Powerwall, the excess solar generated during the day can be stored for use in the evening, ensuring you get the most out of your solar system, eliminate waste, save more money on your electricity bill and, of course, significantly reduce your own carbon footprint.
- VPP participation (excluding Powerwall 1)
More Australians are deciding to couple their solar systems with battery storage, and as this trend accelerates there will be increased opportunity to join Virtual Power Plants (VPPs), such as Australia’s largest VPP, the Tesla Energy Plan. By joining a VPP with your solar-plus-storage system, you can maximise your energy savings through flexible time of use rates, ultimately saving yourself more money on your electricity bill and benefiting both the community of Powerwall owners, and the community at large. Throw in an extra five years warranty and monthly Grid Support Credits and joining the team is a no brainer.
Alternative #4: Data, Data, Data
If you’ve already got solar installed on your rooftop you may, like many solar owners, have become fascinated with just how much energy you’re generating, and when one of the tangential benefits of Powerwall is the fantastic access to data produced by your residential solar-plus-storage system. For many this is a great opportunity to find even more efficiency bonuses, maximising the solar energy you generate and streamlining the time energy is used for the most savings.
- EV Charging and V2G capability
Like residential batteries, Australia has been slow on the update of electric vehicles (EVs), but now the two are on a tandem rise. Of course, an EV requires a considerable amount of electricity, but depending on the size of your home a well-proportioned solar-plus-storage system should be able to efficiency charge your EV without resorting to the grid, or at least, without resorting to the grid unless the prices are very low. Not only are you saving money on ever-increasing petrol prices, but you’re eliminating one of the peskiest parts of one’s carbon footprint, namely, transport.
Lastly, while vehicle to grid (V2G) technology is only at the trial stage in Australia, other countries are already utilising the fact that every EV is basically a mobile battery which, when plugged in, can provide highly sought after grid stability services. As more Australians upgrade to an EV, those with home storage systems will be best placed to make the most of V2G, and it’s just one more reason to combine solar with Tesla Powerwall.