Over 1.3 million households in Australia have rooftop solar power, so it only seems reasonable that Tesla has chosen this country as one of the first that will receive its 7-kWh Powerwall home energy storage systems. They could be available as early as December of 2015, though it had been predicted they will begin arriving in 2016.

powerwallA startup named Reposit Power based in Canberra is working with Tesla to distribute the Powerwalls. The company also has created technology that integrates solar power with energy storage and it can sell stored electricity back to the grid to make money. Reposit calls the technology an energy storage and trading system.

“The idea is to buy from the grid when prices are lowest, consume as much of your own solar as possible, and occasionally sell to the markets when prices spike. This will reduce or get rid of your power bills,” said Reposit director Dean Spaccavento.

The potential to sell electricity back to the grid is intriguing: could you make enough to cover the cost of the battery system by selling electricity? If it was possible, how long would it take?

The growth of energy storage is significant for a number of reasons, but perhaps none is greater than the ability for a whole country to shift away from fossil fuels. “Australia could reach that 50% target, it just requires well-designed policies and markets that allow a transition from centralised, large-scale fossil fuels to efficient but variable renewables. Storage is a key part to make that happen. The beauty of renewables is that once you’ve managed the capital cost, there is no fuel cost. There’s an energy security there you don’t get with fossil fuels,” explained sustainable energy expert Professor Anthony Vassallo.

Also just announced, in the Netherlands, Eneco will be the first Powerwall supplier.

Tesla obviously makes great cars, but it seems that because the Powerwalls are priced much lower, they could sell in greater volume, and Tesla’s brand recognition would only increase.