Tesla’s Powerwall is expected to present a tough competition to Australian clean energy companies
It has been a month since the launch of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) second-generation residential storage system, Powerwall 2, and it’s already gaining a lot of traction particularly in Australia. The new battery pack is not only competitive with the national grid but it also has a calculable payback period.
The Australian Financial Review (AFR) reported that Michael Vostermans, a storage battery expert, got several Powerwall 1 battery packs when it was launched in Australia in late-2015. However, the 6.4kWh battery could hardly fulfill half the energy consumption of his household of three members in Rydalmere, New South Wales.
Additionally, he calculated that it would take the system at least 18 years to pay off the initial investment, which was over twice its warranty period. Therefore, it didn’t make much sense to buy the battery pack.
Since then, the company has launched the Powerwall 2, which has over twice the storage capacity of 14kWh and a built-in inverter, for just over AUD 10,150 ($7,600), including installation and supporting hardware.
The technology is known to be a game-changer, reducing the payback period to a range of six to nine years, according to Mr. Vorstermans. He has placed an order for the Powerwall 2 to store electricity generated by his 4kW of solar panels, set for delivery in February 2017.
He told AFR, “I am buying between six and nine years of solar power in advance – that’s the way I look at it – and anything I get out of it after that is free power.”
Bruce Mountain, another local energy expert, believes that Powerwall 2 puts an end to the “fabulous lunch” of its local rivals from AGL Energy, Energy Australia, Origin Energy, and Redflow. He believes that the new product’s “astounding” progress could allow Australians to beat all discounted power offer from the grid.
Redflow CEO Simon Hackett said in a blog post that Tesla Powerwall 2.0 has created an “Apple vs. Android” moment in the energy storage industry, going against its peer to add a built-in inverter which has lowered the overall cost of the system.