Renewable Planet Coming: Batteries Included

May 12, 2016


LONDON — Nissan announced a new home energy-storage device Monday, made out of recycled batteries sourced from its Leaf electric cars.

The xStorage system, which Nissan unveiled at an event in East London and is produced in partnership with power =-management company Eaton, is essentially the company’s  answer to Tesla’s Powerwall.

The product, which will be powered by 12 Nissan Leaf battery modules, connects to a residential power supply.

It charges up when either renewable energy (from, say, solar panels) is available, or when energy from the grid is cheap (typically at night). Then it releases that energy, powering the house, when energy costs are higher. It will also allow consumers to sell energy back to the grid, Nissan say.

The xStorage battery is being touted by the company as “the first… to provide a fully integrated energy storage unit for homeowners.” It will be installed by certified installers and connects to a smartphone app that will allow consumers to manually switch between energy sources.


The xStorage will be available in the UK starting in September this year for £3,200 (approximately $4,600). There are currently no plans for distribution in the U.S.

While the headline price is higher than Tesla’s Powerwall, Nissan say that it’s all inclusive, including converters and installation and so on, and works out cheaper than the Powerwall overall.

“Our system will be provided to end users completely ready to use, with all required elements including cabling and installation by a certified professional, at a starting price of 4,000 euros for 4.2 kilowatt-hours (kWh) nominal,” Eaton Electical EMEA’s Vice President of Marketing Cyrille Brisson said. (The Powerwall offers 6.4kWh of storage capacity.)

“Our policy is to avoid hidden extra costs and achieve a lower total cost of ownership than other major offers already announced.”

Utility Dive:

“The battery industry in the recent past has been focused on small batteries for consumer electronics, not on issues like integrating renewables and regulating frequency,” said Matthew Tappin, a spokesperson for Lazard and contributing author for the consultancy’s recent report, “Levelized Cost of Storage Analysis 1.0.”

“We think storage is at an inflection point,” he said, “like renewables were in 2008.”

Some storage technologies are already cost-competitive with conventional alternatives in certain applications like frequency regulation or deferring distribution investment. Others, for other applications, are close.


Engie SA bought a majority stake in a California-based battery installer Green Charge Networks LLC, the first utility to dive into energy storage.

The Courbevoie, France-based company that was formerly GDF Suez acquired 80 percent of Green Charge, it said Tuesday in a statement. It deploys batteries for commercial and industrial clients to lower their peak electricity demand, saving money. It has 48 megawatt-hours of projects across 150 sites.

“Utilities have been dipping their toes in energy storage, testing to see if the space is interesting, but this is the first time that we’re seeing one go much further with a deeper engagement,” said Logan Goldie-Scot, an analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance. “Utilities are earning less from their core businesses and many are looking to diversify, with a stronger focus on clean energy and downstream services.”

Low power prices are forcing utilities to reexamine their business models and seek new ways of making money. Interest in energy storage is growing as companies and governments seek to integrate more solar and wind into the grid. Baseload power from gas and coal-fired plants is still needed to balance the grid, which batteries could perhaps replace one day for a full transition to a clean-energy system.


4 Responses to “Renewable Planet Coming: Batteries Included”

  1. redskylite Says:

    Excellent announcement from Nissan – the more options and competition the better for the end-user. I attach a link just in case this article attracts any anti-lithium freaks. There is a lot of misinformation being spread around, probably spread by the same despicable sources that want to ruin what remains of our planet to extend the burning of fossil fuels.

    Lithium Mining vs Oil Sands Meme: A Thorough Response

    “Somewhere, someone is wrong on the internet. Yes, that’s shocking. And normally I’d feel just about as compelled to correct that someone as I would to put my hand in the corned beef slicer at the deli. But dammit, sometimes someone is just so wrong on the internet, that you must get out the mustard.”

  2. redskylite Says:

    Joe Romm has a good supporting article in today’s Think progress, it’s easy to get behind in the latest news. Peter Sinclair and Joe Romm keep us informed of alternatives. . . . . . Thank god for both . . .

    “But it may be the arena of electric batteries and electric vehicles (EVs) where deployment-driven advances have overturned basic assumptions most people had just a few years ago. As I’ve noted before, in 2013, the IEA estimated EVs would achieve cost parity with gasoline vehicles when battery costs hit $300 per kWh of storage capacity, which the IEA said would happen by 2020. Then, last spring, a detailed analysis in Nature concluded that as of the end of 2014, “the cost of battery packs used by market-leading BEV manufacturers are even lower, at US$300 per kWh.”

  3. MorinMoss Says:

    I’m disappointed that Tesla doesn’t make it possible to use their cars as a power source; the capacity of a Model S or X could power a home for days in the event of a blackout and the discharge would be several times lower than highway driving.

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