Tesla Batteries Finding a New Home in Utilities
Tesla, the company known for its high-end electric vehicles, is also making an impact on utilities in southern California. Irvine Ranch Water District is installing Tesla batteries at 11 of their locations to save money on their electric bill and ease the strain on the electrical grid.
These large batteries are being installed next to water treatment and pumping plants and are beginning to transform the way water utilities use energy. The idea is to charge the batteries at night, when energy is cheaper and there is less demand, then use the battery power during the day for their routine operations.
If all goes to plan, this process may end up saving consumers on their water bill in the long-run. Typically, the most expensive part of water treatment is the energy used for pumping and moving the water. It will also help alleviate the strain on the electrical grid during peak demand times. According to the California Energy Commission, moving, treating and heating water accounts for nearly 20% of all energy consumed in the state.
While others are now are now on-board, Irvine Ranch Water District was the first company in the water sector to combine the use of battery storage and water treatment. It signed a deal with Advanced Microgrid Solutions to install Tesla batteries at 11 of its facilities, including wellheads and sewage treatment plants. The first battery installation went online in October, with more expected in the next few months.
General Manager of Irvine Ranch Water District, Paul Cook, believes that this new way of storing and using energy will save the company about a half million dollars per year. He expects those savings to be passed down to contractors and ratepayers.
There are plans in the future to add renewable energy generation to their facilities as well. The company has plans to install solar panels on the roofs at a few of their reservoirs. They plan to use all the power generated by the solar panels in their day-to-day operations, saving the company even more. It’s all these pieces coming together to make the electrical grid more reliable and saving consumers money on their utility bills.