20 September 2016
by Tony Yoo
A Gold Coast man bought six Powerwall batteries to create a Tesla 'power station' at homeClayton Lyndon with his six Tesla Powerwall batteries installed at his home.
A Gold Coast man has had six Tesla Powerwall batteries installed at his home to create a “mini power station”, the first of its kind in Australia.
Clayton Lyndon had the batteries installed to store power harvested by his solar panels. The stored energy can then be used at night or during inclement weather.
Australian company Natural Solar, which performed the installation, claimed Lyndon’s setup was the first residential power station of its kind in Australia and one of the largest residential installations of Tesla Powerwall in the world.
Natural Solar managing director Chris Williams said Lyndon’s system would be capable of generating 36,355kWh per year – a level likely to offset the home’s entire energy bill and have it producing more energy than it uses.
The Tesla batteries allow “independence from the grid”, according to Williams, as well as a reduction in carbon emissions and eventual financial savings.
“The expectation is this customer will be able to save more than $13,000 per year on energy bills should he fully utilise all of the power generated from the panels,” said Williams, adding that Lyndon would break even in four to five years based on full consumption.
The company declined to reveal the cost of the six-battery installation, but did quote a starting price of $13,590 for a basic Tesla Powerwall and solar panel bundle.
The Tesla Powerwall, built by the same company as the famous electric cars, became available last year, with Natural Solar performing the first Australian installation in January this year.
As well as storing power generated from solar panels, the batteries can also be charged from the main grid during off-peak periods for the electricity to be consumed later during more expensive periods.
Savings in the early days of the Powerwall are reportedly nowhere near enough to offset the cost of equipment and installation. Sister publication Lifehacker Australia last year calculated that with a maximum saving of $1.06 a day for a Sydney residence that charged its battery during off-peak hours, the system needs to be used for 25 years to reach break-even.
The payback time is 31 years for a complete “off the grid” system, which would require at least two batteries to maintain a typical household — costing close to $30,000. The Tesla Powerwall comes with a 10-year warranty, which makes both scenarios uneconomical.
Natural Solar stated that it offers payment plans that allow the customer to be “cash flow positive from day one”.