Microgrids are a small and focused energy system that provides stable service within a certain area when the primary source of power is unavailable. Universities, hospitals, military bases, are all part of communities that have historically relied on microgrids.
SolarCity, a company that has primarily focused on solar panels, is exploring utilizing Telsa Motor batteries to store renewable energy that can be accessed by users on the microgrid during a power outage. SolarCity management says that its target areas are communities that are susceptible to extreme weather conditions and have unreliable power sources.
The Telsa tie-in to this initiative stems from making it more affordable by utilizing Telsa battery technology. It’s being spearheaded by Elon Musk, chief product architect of Tesla Motors and chairman of SolarCity. SolarCity believes that the battery technology can lower the cost of microgrid infrastructure. Telsa is working to build “Gigafactories” for the lithium-ion batteries that the microgrid systems will use.
This new product is also meant to make microgrids more accessible. While SolarCity is focusing the majority of marketing for this product to North America, some targeted efforts are being made oversees in areas where reliable power is an issue.