Tesla Motors has found a new application for its battery technology -- off-grid solar-powered homes. The automaker is teaming up with solar panel installer SolarCity to connect its batteries to solar-powered homes, unlinking the panels from the grid and using the batteries as back-up.
The team has submtited applications for 70 different projects to California utility PG&E's solar incentive program that would see homes linked together with Tesla battery packs and solar panels. The batteries would store energy produced by the panels for use during the night, on cloudy days and during grid power outages, allowing the homes to operate fully free of the grid.
The partnership is relying on incentives to get the projects moving. If the projects qualify for the California incentives and federal tax incentives, the cost of these installations could be cut in half, making them much more appealing to homeowners since solar panel installations are already expensive and those coupled with battery storage would be even more so. But if they can get the costs down and market this combined system, we could see off-grid living become much more approachable.