Tesla's Powerwall to be available in Canada by 2016
Home battery system can be used to manage electricity time-of-use billing and for power outages
Tesla's Powerwall home battery system will be broadly available in Canada at the beginning of 2016, distributed by Toronto-based NRStor Inc. and Opus One Solutions Energy Corp.
The Powerwall is a lithium-ion, wall-mounted battery system that can be used by homeowners in power outages or to store solar power.
There are two models, a 7 kWh version that sells for $3,000 US and a 10 kWh one for $3,500 US, not including installation.
The batteries are integrated into a smart grid which can draw on the system to keep fridges, heating or cooling systems and electronics running for several hours during a power outage.
NRStor also foresees using the technology to manage time-of-use billing costs by storing energy overnight when electricity prices are lower and using it during peak periods.
NRStor is an energy storage project developer headed by Annette Verschuren, a former president of Home Depot. Its projects include large and small-scale flywheel, compressed air and battery energy storage systems.
"This energy storage system will provide Canadians with the opportunity to find demonstrable efficiencies in their daily energy usage as well as ensuring access to energy when it is really needed," Verschuren said in a news release.
NRStor will be working with Opus One Solutions, a smart grid software engineering company. Pilot projects with Powerwall will be built this autumn.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk launched his venture into home batteries last week, saying he believed it could change the dynamics of the energy sector, by encouraging home owners to install solar panels and store their own power.
"Our goal here is to fundamentally change the way the world uses energy," Musk told reporters as he launched the Powerwall.
Solar panels are getting cheaper with the price lower than some other forms of energy for remote communities and others with insecure access to the grid.
But the big problem is storage and Musk hopes to begin solving that problem with his Powerwall. Although the price is currently high, he plans to build a battery factory in Nevada, which could help bring down the cost of new generation lithium-ion batteries.