I received a string of emails from friends today asking what I thought of the new Tesla Energy Powerwall. I think it is awesome of course!
Although we may not be one of the first in line to get one (or a few of them), batteries are definitely in our future. And when I say ‘our’, I mean a lot of us. Even if you don’t buy batteries to power your home directly, there’s a pretty good chance some of the power coming to your home through the grid will come from batteries in the next 5 years.
I’m pretty tempted to get a 10 kWh Powerwall instead of a generator for backup power. It won’t power our heat pump or give us hot water, but it will cover everything else, including the freezer, refrigerator, lights, ventilation and water pump.
My main question is how it works when the power goes out. Today if the power goes out, our solar shuts down too. This is for safety, to prevent back feeding the grid and potentially injuring workers trying to repair the lines. If that continues to be the case, then our panels would not be able to recharge the batteries during an extended outage. This would dramatically limit their appeal for us. If they have a solution for this, then that might be enough to tip the scales and become an early adopter.
With out current net metering arrangement with our utility, there is not a lot of financial incentive to use the batteries to store excess power when the sun is out and use it at night. If the utility decides to change that agreement in the future, as is happening in other states, then all bets are off.