Tesla Wants to Sell Electricity Directly to Texas

Tesla Wants to Sell Electricity Directly to Texas

Tesla has decided to skip the middleman.

It just makes sense – the electric automaker is leading the charge for clean energy in America, and EVs put additional strain on the power grid (one of the many reasons a functioning smart grid is so critical).

Add to that the unique situation in Texas, where the state power grid is cut off from the rest of the U.S., and a cold snap earlier this year left millions of people without power. 

The task of re-powering the state fell to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which was ill-equipped to handle the crisis and led to Elon Musk quipping that the group was “not earning that R.”

It’s probably not a coincidence that Musk, himself, announced plans to move to the Lone Star State in late 2020, giving him a personal stake in this (beyond the market share Tesla stands to gain).

So Tesla has applied with the Texas Public Utility Commission to sell electricity direct to consumers, capping a series of moves including plans to connect a 100 megawatt energy storage system to the grid in Angleton, TX.

That said, this isn’t the first time Tesla has dabbled with utility-scale energy storage systems – CNBC reports that their subsidiary, Tesla Energy Ventures, already has systems in place in Los Angeles, another underway in Monterey, California, and two in Australia, though they haven’t acted as an electricity provider in those areas.

Back in 2016, Tesla made headlines with plans to install the “world’s largest backup battery” in LA, though their Texas plans take their energy venture a step further.

Texas Monthly, which first reported on the move, noted that “Tesla could sell kilowatts that are either drawn from the grid—when it is working—or pulled from Tesla-made home batteries when the grid goes down,” while they could also enable Texans with solar panel to sell excess energy back to the grid.

And while Elon Musk has yet to deliver on several key ventures – Hyperloop, anyone? – this seems very achievable, and I’d expect results soon.