Solar City Teaming Up With Tesla


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In a recent report on Solar City teaming up with Tesla, Solar City will use Tesla’s batteries for energy storage. This fast-growing solar installer, Solar City, has found a solution to energy storage issue while reducing energy cost and demand cost. Called DemandLogic, it could allow businesses to use stored electricity in times of peak demand, reducing their usage at peak periods and the associated fees (called the demand charges). Below you will find a video of Solar City’s Lyndon Rive, discussing the transformative impact of Solar CIty:


Energy charges have risen rapidly (Source: EIA)-DemandLogic reduces your demand charges from day one. And because demand charges tend to rise, your savings increase over time (Source:

Lyndon Rive (cousin of Elon Musk, chairman of Solar City), Solar City’s chief executive, said that the systems would provide backup power and a working solar array during blackouts. Mr. Rive also added that he does not see the systems as a step toward independence from the grid, although storage is very important in maintaining grid stability as more customers continue to adopt solar.

Based on a $1.8 million grant in 2010 from the California Public Utilities Commission to study the possibilities of storing electricity from rooftop solar arrays in batteries, the product was developed. The company has also signed up approximately 300 of its residential customers for a pilot program using battery packs from Tesla (where Elon Musk, cousin of Lyndon Rive, is the chief executive of Tesla and chairman of the Solar City, as indicated in our post/video of Dec. 11, 2013). The company will offer its storage systems in parts of California, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

“It’s not a no-brainer-you still have to have the ¬†right combinations of rates and demand charges and the cost of the equipment.But if the systems are able to take advantage of a 30% federal tax credit, the economics would have broader appeal.” according to a senior research analyst at Navigant Research.

The new customers at Solar City systems signing 10-year service agreements are eligible for the credit. The Solar City systems are made to store about a third of the energy the solar array can produce. Mr. Rive guarantees that there would be reductions of demand charge, at about 20%. Part of the appeal is that the system allows businesses to continue operating at full capacity, rather than reducing power usage, as in traditional demand response program.


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gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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