Experts agree that grid storage batteries like the Tesla Powerpack are the key to making renewables the first choice for new electrical capacity. Batteries can accept input when the sun is shining or the winds are blowing and save it for use later when the sun goes down or the breezes abate. Grid storage can also provide extra capacity when it is needed. Instead of cold starting a fossil fueled generating plant when demand peaks, batteries can provide the extra power needed without adding carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere.
This week, Tesla announced that it began shipping the second generation of its Powerpack grid storage batteries in September. The Powerpack 2.0 has doubled the energy density of the original Powerpack — to about 200 kWh per unit. It also has a new energy module and power electronics. Tesla has designed a new inverter in-house and is now manufacturing that component at its Gigafactory in Nevada.
In a blog post this week, the company says, “It is the lowest cost, highest efficiency and highest power density utility-scale inverter on the market. It also significantly simplifies the installation process of the entire Powerpack system by integrating a number of previously independent components into the inverter itself.”