Apple’s Huge Solar Play – Tesla Announces Batteries for Homes

February 12, 2015

Another high tech leader you may have heard of makes a big bet on renewable power.  They are not doing this for charity.


The agreement positions the CEO of the world’s biggest company at the center of the global debate about climate change and the future of energy—a role Cook has increasingly embraced over the past two years. The company has been ramping up its investment in solar, with two 20 Mw plants completed and a third under development in North Carolina, and a 20 Mw plant in development in Reno, Nev. All of Apple’s data centers are now powered by renewables.

“We know that climate change is real,” Cook said on Tuesday. “Our view is that the time for talk has passed, and the time for action is now. We’ve shown that with what we’ve done.”

Wind power has long been cheaper than solar, and such tech companies as Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have taken advantage by investing heavily in wind.

But the sun is the future. The price of solar has been declining quicker than that of wind, and by 2050 solar could be the world’s biggest single source of electricity, according to the International Energy Agency. The Apple deal is the first of its size for solar, a milestone on the road to cheap, unsubsidized power from the sun.

Apple isn’t investing in solar as a gift to humanity. It’s doing it because it’s a good business deal, Cook stressed at the Goldman Sachs conference. “We expect to have very significant savings,” he said.

As if to underline that fact, within minutes of announcing the solar deal, Apple’s stock ended the trading day with a record valuation of $711 billion, making it the first U.S. company to cross the $700 billion mark. Shares of both Apple and First Solar surged.

The reason you are seeing so many high tech, silicon valley companies invest in solar is because, as the emerging distributed grid becomes more and more like the internet, companies with network expertise are grasping the potential, and the opportunity.

Elon Musk’s record as an engineer and entrepreneur is that he sees the future, and does what he says he’s going to do.
He’s announcing another step toward a distributed energy economy, as the electric utilities’ Kodak Moment draws ever nearer.


Tesla Motors Inc., best known for making the all-electric Model S sedan, is using its lithium-ion battery technology to position itself as a frontrunner in the emerging energy-storage market that supplements and may ultimately threaten the traditional electric grid.

“We are going to unveil the Tesla home battery, the consumer battery that would be for use in people’s houses or businesses fairly soon,” Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said during an earnings conference call with analysts Wednesday.

Combining solar panels with large, efficient batteries could allow some homeowners to avoid buying electricity from utilities. Morgan Stanley said last year that Tesla’s energy-storage product could be “disruptive” in the U.S. and in Europe as customers seek to avoid utility fees by going “off-grid.” Musk said the product unveiling would occur within the next month or two.

“We have the design done, and it should start going into production in about six months or so,” Musk said. “It’s really great.”

The article goes on to point out that some of the first customers may be the utilities themselves. Stay tuned, this just keeps moving faster.




6 Responses to “Apple’s Huge Solar Play – Tesla Announces Batteries for Homes”

  1. Time to start looking smaller, like power assisted bicycles. Stormer claims that their pedal assisted bike can do 90 miles with a top speed of 28 mph. If they can expand the range of scooters then I suspect a lot of people will start using them for short trips rather than wasting gas.

  2. If Tesla had made a Nissan Leaf class EV I’d buy it just to support the guy in his forward thinking. People have started calling him the new Jobs, although personally I never liked Jobs (and neither do I own any Apple products), but Elon Musk seems like a brilliant CEO.

    • MorinMoss Says:

      Jobs had vision but I consider him to be more of a successful huckster crossed with a tyrannical project manager. Elon strikes me as Wozniak with an MBA.

      I have been predicting this for years since I first saw the battery in the Model S referred to as the ESS (Energy Storage System) and was dead certain this would be announced when the plans for the Gigafactory were revealed and bolstered by the SolarCity acquisition of Silevo.

      If the Gigafactory is able to churn out batteries at a reasonable price point, Tesla will not need to profit from building cars.
      They’ll have plenty of customers and plenty of revenue from on or off-grid energy storage, both residential & commercial.

  3. […] VIDEO: Apple’s Huge Solar Play – Tesla Announces Batteries for Homes (Climate Crocks) […]

  4. John Says:

    Reblogged this on jpratt27.

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