Elon Musk’s Tesla is looking beyond electric vehicles, solar panels and energy storage and now wants to deliver electricity directly to customers, according to a request filed with Texas electricity regulators early in the year. month. Energy Choice Matters first reported on the demand.
The application, filed with the Texas Public Utilities Commission on August 16, is an application to become what is known as a “retail electricity supplier” under its subsidiary Tesla Energy Ventures. In Texas’ deregulated and idiosyncratic electricity market, PWRs typically buy electricity wholesale from power producers and sell it to customers. Over 100 PWRs are currently competing in the open market.
The company has also filed separate applications for several large-scale batteries in Lone Star State: a 250 megawatt battery located near its Gigafactory outside of Austin and a separate 100 MW project outside. from Houston. These plans are unrelated to the company’s efforts to become an electricity supplier, but taken as a whole, they reveal an ambitious roadmap for Tesla’s energy business.
Imagine: Tesla could not only sell electricity to its customers, but it could also negotiate with customers who resell their excess energy – generated from Tesla Powerwall products or solar panels, of course – to the grid. It’s certainly one way of realizing Musk’s vision of turning every home into a distributed powerhouse.
The latest request to the PUC comes just six months after an unprecedented winter storm shut down large parts of Texas’ power grid for days, leaving millions of people without power during a series of freezing days. A handful of PWRs shut down after the storm, which stalled wholesale electricity prices up to $ 9,000 per megawatt hour (the seasonal average is around $ 50).
Musk, who moved numerous operations to Texas from California, including SpaceX’s sprawling Boca Chica facility, criticized the state’s network operator on Twitter at the time:
.@ERCOT_ISO don’t earn this R
– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 17, 2021
He said the company is not “earning that R” – referring to the R in the acronym, which stands for Electric Reliability Council of Texas.
Tesla Energy Ventures told PUC regulators it will use Tesla’s existing energy division to help drive sales, including leveraging the company’s mobile app and website. “Specifically, [Tesla Energy Ventures] will target its existing customers who own Tesla products and market the retail offering to customers through the mobile app and Tesla’s website, ”the app says. “In addition to the Tesla mobile app and the Tesla website, the applicant’s existing Tesla Energy Customer Support organization will be formed to provide assistance and guidance to customers in their customer acquisition efforts. “
Ana Stewart is listed as president of Tesla Energy Ventures. She has been with Tesla since 2017 as Director of Regulatory Credit Operations. Previously, she worked at SolarCity, acquired by Tesla.
The request is listed under file number 52431.