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Tesla and SolarCity in talks for ‘a number of large’ utility scale energy storage installations


One of the many reasons CEO Elon Musk gave to justify the merger of Tesla and SolarCity is to simplify the complicated bidding process that comes with the two companies collaborating on utility-scale solar and energy storage projects.

The timing of the merger might have to do with several of these projects being in the pipeline since a SolarCity official just confirmed that they are “in talks for ‘a number of large installations” big enough to double the current installed capacity by the company.

Bob Rudd, vice president of development, energy storage and microgrids at SolarCity, made the comment to the New York Times when the publication visited a solar + energy storage by Tesla and SolarCity project announced earlier this year with the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative (pictured above).

NYT reported:

“Bob Rudd, vice president of development, energy storage and microgrids at SolarCity, declined to give specifics, but said he was in talks for a number of large installations, any one of which could double what the company had installed.”

Tesla and SolarCity have been working on over 60 MWh of projects together, therefore, doubling the total capacity with a single project would mean that we are talking about very large utility-scale projects here.

Musk explained last week that when bidding on these projects, the proposals have to go through both company’s independent boards and it can slow down the process, which becomes a problem at scale. It looks like Musk wasn’t talking in term of expectations, but about something they are experiencing right now.

The project in Connecticut is for both solar and energy storage (Tesla’s Powerpack), same goes for the companies collaborating on the massive Kauai project, but Tesla is also doing energy storage only utility-scale projects like the ones recently announced: the 80 MWh Powerpack system at the Southern California Edison Mira Loma substation and the 34 MWh of battery capacity projects for water treatment facilities in California.

With the new Powerpack 2 in production now and shareholders voting on the merger on November 17, we expect more projects to be announced before the end of the year.

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