Apple announced on Wednesday that it is building a large battery storage project on a solar farm in Northern California that it stood for in 2015. But what the company didn’t share is that Tesla’s battery packs will come, The edge has learned.
The newly announced facility, which can store up to 240 megawatt hours of energy, was approved by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors in 2020, said documents submitted last yearIt will consist of 85 Tesla lithium-ion “megapacks” and will be used to power the company’s headquarters in Cupertino. The Monterey County planning chief has confirmed in an email to Apple that Apple will use the Tesla batteries The edgeApple declined to comment. Tesla did not respond to a request for comment.
Tesla first announced the megapack battery system in 2019. However, the 60 MW storage setup that Apple will use is not Tesla’s largest. The company has built larger total battery storage solutions in Australia and south of Houston, Texas of about 100 MW. Still, in a press release, Apple called it “one of the largest battery projects in the country” and said the battery system could power more than 7,000 homes for a full day. The Tesla batteries will allow Apple to store energy generated by its 130 megawatt solar panel on the farm, which California Flats
“The challenge with clean energy – solar and wind – is that it is by definition intermittent,” Apple VP Lisa Jackson told Reuters on Wednesday“If we can, and we can show that it works for us, it takes away the concerns about intermittency and helps the network in terms of stabilization. It’s something that can be imitated or built on by other companies. “
While Apple uses lithium-ion batteries in many of its products, it is not known to work on grid-scale projects. The company is reportedly developing a lithium iron phosphate battery for its electric car project, however.
Apple and Tesla don’t have much overlapping history, although each company is notorious for taking talent away from the other. Tesla CEO Elon Musk also said in December that he tried to pitch the idea that Apple would acquire its company in 2018, but that Apple CEO Tim Cook “refused” to attend the meeting.
Tesla is best known for its electric cars, but it has spent years trying to build an energy storage company to complement the solar products it acquired when it purchased Solar City. It has become increasingly involved in large-scale energy storage projects such as Apple’s over the years, in addition to its home battery business.
While still modest compared to the billions of dollars generated by Tesla’s auto company, the energy storage division’s products have already yielded at least one other odd bedmate: in 2019, Volkswagen announced it was using Tesla batteries on some of its Electrify America charging stations.