Future Game Changer for the Grid Could be Tesla Batteries

The new splashy home-battery product launch by Tesla has up until now garnered mixed reviews. That being said, make no mistake that the power grid of America has officially been put on notice.

It is argued by skeptics that the batteries costing $3,000 are for most households far too expensive and unrealistic. Some have even dismissed the product launch completely as an effort by founder Elon Musk to distract the public and investors form the core product sales of the electric car maker.

CEO of generator giant Generac, a clean energy company, Aaron Jagdfeld said on “Closing Bell” Friday; “It is not a solution for backup power that is very economical.”

Yes, the Tesla home battery – or in industry lingo “storage” – would for a mere four to eight hours of power if there were an outage, run around $10,000 said Jagdfeld. Meanwhile, his Generac generators could offer “weeks” of electricity power you households if they were powered by natural gas.

This is seen differently by some – and they maintain that the game changer is on fact Tesla’s technology.

Rick Harrison is a great example, he is the owner of a pawn shop in Las Vegas that is quite successful as well as other ventures and also the well-known face of “Pawn Stars”, the cable television series.

Harrison explained to “Closing Bell” that he owns a sprawling ranch located in Oregon which is “off the grid,” it is powered by solar, water and time-consuming and costly array of batteries.

Tesla´s offering is compelling for people such as Harrison, not based merely off of a cost basis, but also due to the potential convenience it offers He said: “When you have countless rack of batteries that you have to constantly unscrew to check gravity and acid, it becomes a major headache.

He stated: “When it comes to the management of those batteries that are 2,000 pounds, it would be much less of a nightmare with Tesla’s technology.

It is one of the reasons why Harrison, although at one point a Tesla sceptic, has changed the way he views the electric-car makers investment potential in the long-term. He said: I believe that the product they recently put out is just amazing.”

Walter Isaacson, founder and biographer of the Aspen Institute echoed this view.

Isaacson told CNBC Friday: It is my belief that these batteries will become the new big game changer, because if we are going to obtain a “smart” grid, this is precisely what we need.

Recently Isaacson had traveled to New Orleans his hometown and witnessed the power outages caused by storms the prior week. He said: “I am unsure as to which of these technologies will actually be the best, it will however be a great field.”

He added that this field will be “unlike social media” where entry batteries run kind of high, incumbent players such as Tesla would be favored by this.

At this moment, the cheapest and most accessible form of backup power is the generation that is championed by Generac and its rivals.

However, Tesla’s technology may be more attractive for those who want – and are able to afford. A lifestyle that is “off-the-grid.” Overtime. Competition, lower cost and network effected from even more users could actually increase the amounts of households that switched to a solar-and-storage kind of model being laid out by Tesla.

As chief executive of American Electric Power, the utility giant Nick Akins told “Closing Bell”: The way the grid operates is being changed by distributed generation, renewables and solar.” As more and more users are seeming to want to demand it as the years go by, the utility is investing in “two-way flow.”

America´s aging and overloaded grid may also be alleviated from their burden with this innovation. Generac´s Jagdfeld said; If this is allowing consumers out there to better understand their options, then the announcement by Tesla could also be a game changer in the sense of raising awareness about off grid homes.

He said; “The grid is still aging and failing, and today the duration of power outages is longer than they were ten years ago.”