Tesla: a giant battery for the Texas power grid

Tesla will hook up a giant battery plant to the Texas power grid. The US state experienced one of the worst power outages in its history in February due to a cold snap.

Credit: Tesla

Texas has decided to go it alone and is not connected to the US national electricity grid. This is one of the reasons why the state suffered a giant power outage in February, when a cold snap paralyzed electricity producers. For Texas, it is therefore vital to increase the number of energy suppliers in its territory to meet demand.

Sufficient capacity for 20,000 households

It is in this context that Bloomberg discovered the existence of a Tesla factory not far from Houston, the capital of Texas. Operated by Gambit Energy Storage, a subsidiary of the automaker, this “giant battery” connected to the Texas energy grid will be able to store 100 megawatts, which will allow it to supply electricity to 20,000 homes on a very hot summer day. .

The plant is expected to officially begin operations on June 1. Tesla is obviously known for its electric cars, but its official mission is to accelerate the world’s march towards the use of sustainable energy. Factory-sized batteries are needed to store the electricity produced by the wind and the sun, and the surplus can be sold to energy management and distribution companies.

The residential market is therefore of great interest to Tesla. In 2015, the company launched the Powerwall, a battery for the home, then the following year the manufacturer bought SolarCity, which designs solar panels. In addition, Tesla has been providing electricity in Southern California since 2016, connecting its local 20 megawatt system to the state grid.

Elon Musk, who moved part of his business to Texas, was quick to mock Ercot, the organization that manages the distribution of electricity in the US state, when the grid collapsed following the cold snap from last month. But despite these electricity problems, the tongue-in-cheek billionaire obviously intends to stay in Texas!

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