Shock, horror – but in a good way. Tesla has recently quietly dropped the price in Australia for its popular Powerwall battery system.
But first, in what’s been described as a potential game changer, 20 Housing SA households will have a Tesla Powerwall installed – without any solar panels to go with it.
The trial will be part of Phase 3 of the SA Virtual Power Plant (SA VPP) that will also see 3,000 more social housing tenants in South Australia joining Australia’s largest virtual power plant.
These properties will have 5 kW of rooftop solar and a 13.5 kWh Powerwall battery system installed at no cost. 1,100 tenants have already had solar + storage systems installed under the program, which provides beneficiaries with significant energy cost savings under a related electricity plan.
Regarding the solar-less battery trial, South Australia’s Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan didn’t offer much in the way of specifics, only that:
“Tesla will use the plentiful supply of renewable electricity generated by South Australian’s world-leading uptake of roof top solar to charge the batteries for the evening peak when the sun sets.”
But in an ABC report, he provides a bit more detail. Minister van Holst Pellekaan mentions that with the battery alone it can still deliver the “29 per cent savings on electricity prices” other housing trust and public housing homes are receiving.
Before Australians without solar panels rush out to buy a Powerwall, it’s important to note the Minister was referring to these batteries installed as part of the SA VPP, which has all sorts of tech smarts behind it. Minister van Holst Pellekaan said if the trial is successful, it could be extended to other properties unable to host solar panels.
The SA VPP has been supported by $8.2 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), $10 million from the South Australian Government’s Grid Scale Storage Fund, $30 million debt finance from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and Tesla has kicked in an $18 million equity contribution.
Powerwall Price Drop!
In other Powerwall related news, over the last couple of years we’ve grown accustomed to Powerwall price increases in Australia – the latest was in February this year when it jumped $800. SQ’s Ronald quipped at the time:
“At this rate, I’ll be telling you about the next $800 Powerwall increase sometime in May.”
Tesla’s Elon Musk obviously saw this comment and decided to stick it to Ronald, because in late May there was another price change – but this time heading in the right direction. The price of a Powerwall, including supporting hardware but not including installation, was quietly dropped from $13,300 to $12,750 – a decrease of $550.
I firmly believe we have Ronald to thank for this.
But seriously, while Tesla and Elon Musk cop a bit of stick here at times on SQ, also recognised are the awesome aspects of Powerwall. For example, just recently Tesla’s home battery potentially saved Ronald, SQ founder Finn and Finn’s family from food poisoning. You can find out more in Ronald’s article on solar power and slow cookers.
What the next movement will be on Powerwall pricing is anyone’s guess and even with this drop, it remains a significant outlay well out of reach of many Australians – even with assistance of generous subsidies available in some parts of Australia such as SA’s Home Battery Scheme.
Before investing in a battery system, try the SolarQuotes solar and battery calculator to determine estimated savings and payback.