Tesla – no longer ‘just’ a car company by any means – plans to add more energy storage capacity with SolarCity this year than the entire country installed in 2015. And it’s not just a little bit more – the total could add up to more than double last year’s installed capacity, depending on which projects are included in the tally. In essence, Tesla foresees a nearly 10-fold increase in sales to SolarCity for behind-the-meter storage.
The ambitious plans came to light through the company’s recent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). In the filing, Tesla reported: “We recognized approximately $4.9 million in revenue from SolarCity during fiscal year 2015 for sales of energy storage products governed by this master supply agreement, and anticipate recognizing approximately $44.0 million in such revenues during fiscal year 2016.”
GTM’s Senior Energy Storage Analyst Ravi Manghan translated what that means into practical terms. After SolarCity and Tesla doubled their combined battery installations last year, Tesla is expecting to install approximately 116 MWh of behind-the-meter storage in 2016, and that’s not including the 52 MWh solar energy storage system that SolarCity is installing in Hawaii. For the entirety of 2015, the country installed about 76 MWh of behind-the-meter storage, making Tesla’s goal quite lofty.
With sales of Tesla’s Powerwall home battery system booming and construction well underway at its enormous Nevada Gigafactory, the California-based company is poised to secure its position at the top of the energy storage food chain, if there were such a thing.