Apple will use Tesla’s ‘megapack’ batteries at its California photo voltaic farm

Apple introduced Wednesday that it’s constructing a giant battery storage venture at a Northern California photo voltaic farm it spearhead in 2015. However what the corporate didn’t share is that the battery packs will come from Tesla, The Verge has realized.

The newly-announced setup, which is able to retailer as much as 240 megawatt-hours of power, was accredited by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors in 2020, in line with paperwork submitted final 12 months. It’s going to include 85 Tesla lithium-ion “megapacks” and be used to assist energy the corporate’s company headquarters in Cupertino. Monterey County’s planning chief confirmed that Apple will use the Tesla batteries in an e mail to The Verge. Apple declined to remark. Tesla didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Tesla first introduced the megapack battery system again in 2019. The 60MW storage setup Apple will probably be utilizing will not be Tesla’s largest, although. The corporate has constructed greater total battery storage options in Australia and south of Houston, Texas of round 100MW in measurement. Nonetheless, Apple touted it as “one of many largest battery initiatives within the nation” in a press launch, saying the battery system may energy greater than 7,000 properties for a complete day. The Tesla batteries will make it potential for Apple to retailer power generated by its 130-megawatt photo voltaic array on the farm, which is known as California Flats.

“The problem with clear power — photo voltaic and wind — is that it’s by definition intermittent,” Apple VP Lisa Jackson advised Reuters on Wednesday. “If we are able to do it, and we are able to present that it really works for us, it takes away the issues about intermittency and it helps the grid when it comes to stabilization. It’s one thing that may be imitated or constructed upon by different corporations.”

Whereas Apple makes use of lithium-ion batteries in lots of its merchandise, it’s not identified to be engaged on any grid-scale initiatives. The corporate is reportedly growing a lithium iron phosphate battery for its electrical automotive venture, although.

Apple and Tesla don’t have a lot overlapping historical past, although every firm is infamous for poaching expertise from the opposite. Tesla CEO Elon Musk additionally stated in December that he tried to pitch the concept of Apple shopping for his firm again in 2018, however that Apple CEO Tim Cook dinner “refused” to take the assembly.

Tesla is greatest identified for its electrical automobiles, however it’s spent years making an attempt to construct up an power storage enterprise to go with the photo voltaic merchandise it acquired when it purchased Photo voltaic Metropolis. It has gotten more and more concerned in large-scale power storage initiatives like Apple’s through the years along with its residence battery enterprise.

Whereas it’s nonetheless modest in comparison with the billions of {dollars} generated by Tesla’s automotive enterprise, the power storage division’s merchandise has already netted at the least one different unusual bedfellow buyer: in 2019, Volkswagen introduced it was utilizing Tesla batteries at a few of its Electrify America charging stations.

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