Tesla has reportedly completed its first major solar storage project since its $2bn acquisition of SolarCity, underlining the electric vehicle giant’s plans to become a major player in the wider clean tech sector.
The company said it has brought online the Kapaia solar and storage project in Hawaii, combining a 13MW solar array with a 52MWh storage system featuring over 270 of Tesla’s Powerpack systems.
The project has secured a 20 year contract with the local Kauai Island Utility Cooperative and promises to deliver power at a cost of 13.9 cents/kWh, significantly cutting the amount the utility pays for diesel power, according to Tesla.
The ability of the new project to deliver solar power generated during the day onto the island’s grid at night is expected to cut diesel use by 1.6 million gallons a year.
The installation further underlines how renewables can undercut traditional fossil fuel power generation, especially in regions such as Hawaii which boasts significant renewable energy resources and high power costs.
The news comes in the same week as Tesla reportedly launched the latest version of its domestic energy storage system, the Powerwall, in Australia.
The Powerwall 2 boasts almost double the capacity of original and is being targeted at the large number of Australian homes that have installed solar arrays.