Tesla Is Getting Into the Offshore Wind Energy Game
Electric cars, grid-scale batteries, and power storage in people's homes—Tesla clearly wants its batteries everywhere. We can now add to that list storing energy generated by offshore wind turbines. Tesla just announced a partnership with Deepwater Wind, the company that built America's first offshore wind farm, to provide batteries for a proposed wind farm they're calling Revolution. Far bigger than the tiny farm Deepwater Wind switched on last year, if approved by the state of Massachusetts (the proposed site is off of Martha's Vineyard), the Revolution wind farm could be pumping out 144 megawatts of electricity by 2023—enough to power about 80,000 homes.
Tesla didn't say how big its contribution would be, but the company (one of our 50 Smartest Companies of 2017) has lately made a habit of getting involved in audacious, grid-scale battery installations. Last month, CEO Elon Musk promised to deliver what would be the world's largest lithium-ion battery to support a wind farm in South Australia. That came just a few months after it completed an 80-megawatt hour battery in California.
Energy storage is still one of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of a clean energy future, though. The cost of storage is definitely on the decline, but at the moment these kinds of big battery projects don't make much of a dent in our overall energy picture, and they're newsworthy precisely because of their rarity. Put simply, building big batteries is still really hard. If Tesla and other battery companies have their way, it may not be long before that changes.