What are your plans for the summer?
“We’re planning a trip”
“We’re going to try to stay cool”
Weather extremes. We’ve seen fires in California, rolling blackouts across most of the country, and hurricanes in the Southeast.
This article is about big battery storage, specifically, Tesla Megapacks and why they are increasingly the choice for public utilities and companies. I’ll also discuss margin, or ROI (return on investment).
We will specifically look at three entities that have recently built or plan to build big battery storage.
Powering Florida’s Only Rice Mill: A Single Tesla Megapack
When the sun sets over Palm Beach County, Florida, one Tesla Megapack is helping power Florida’s only rice mill.
Florida Crystals Corp, had the foresight to plan to generate energy with a 900 panel solar array and order a Tesla Megapack. On May 31, they announced on Twitter that their Megapack is up and running, supplying electricity to the mill after dark and ensuring the power stays on around hurricane season to protect valuable rice.
Megapack is estimated to reduce carbon by 250 tons annually and is 1.8 MWh.
Remarkably, this Megapack is also the first one in Florida!
Arizona’s Giant Clean Energy Storage: Strata To Build 255MW/1GWh Tesla Megapack Project
Big projects are needed to transition our world to sustainable energy. APS or Arizona Public Service is a utility that serves more than 1.3 million homes and businesses in 11 of Arizona’s 15 counties. This requires a lot of electricity!
Private company, Strata Build, plans to build, own and operate a huge 255MW/1GWh Tesla Megapack clean energy storage system with a value of $500M. Strata will then provide power to APS.
Australia’s Power Revolution: Megapacks Keeping Power on Across the Continent
As sure as the sun shines and the wind blows over the splendid continent of Australia, Tesla Megapacks are keeping the power on for millions of people.
I created a chart of Tesla Megapacks that are currently operating in Australia. There are many more Battery storage plans proposed, announced, and under construction. Other companies are also building big battery storage for Australians.
Information accessed from Renew Economy Big Battery Storage Map of Australia accessed on June 2, 2023.
Powering Growth: The Compelling Case for Investing in Tesla Megapacks
One of the probing questions I had from a reader of mine, was about margins. For this, I like to look at the future benefits to humanity. We can measure the value of Tesla or other big battery storage by its capability to keep the power on when the sun is not shining in the wind is not blowing.
Let’s imagine a public utility that serves 1M people that undergoes several power outages a year. Now visualize Megapacks stepping in and keeping power on for schools, hospitals, living spaces, and companies (the rice mill in Florida).
Speaking of the rice mill, a value can be assigned to the 90M lbs/year of rice that Florida Crystals Corp. is trusted to mill for its many clients. The volume of rice is enough for 4 million people annually. Businesses that have reliable power can thrive, grow, and expand, that’s a great ROI.
Every person benefits, including the many people that are employed in installing and maintaining Megapacks.
Another great value, which is hard to assign a dollar amount to, is in the essential concept that people stay safe and healthy.
Tesla’s website (accessed on June 3, 2023) allows you to reserve one Megapack to a max of 1000 Megapacks, with planned delivery in 2025. The base cost of one is around $2,8M (including installation).
Tesla’s Master Plan 3 includes Megapacks, Lithium refining, and Tesla Energy
Tesla Lithium refining in Corpus Christi, Texas, will enable Megapacks to be built faster. (It’s much easier to build a Megapack than to build a vehicle.) Megapacks, built at a certain volume now, will increase in scale.
Although it may seem a small step forward, Tesla Energy is putting programs together starting in Texas for charging Tesla vehicles during times when there’s excess wind production at night.
My take is that It’s worth following Tesla Energy carefully, in my opinion, Tesla starts off with what looks like small moves, and then those moves grow exponentially. Today, for example, buyers of a new Model 3 may apply to charge at home for free for 1 year with Tesla Energy. Late December 2022, Tesla Energy began an electricity plan in Texas designed for Powerwall owners. What will we see tomorrow?
I hope your summer is cool, memorable, and filled with adventures led by your hearts’ desires!
Thanks as always for supporting my writing. Article by Gail Alfar please credit accordingly. Thanks to Tesla Energy, Arushi Sharma Frank, Tesla Megapack, and reader Darrell Park for suggesting this topic.