Origin Energy, one of Australia's largest energy companies and a leader in renewables, has opened orders for Tesla Powerwall batteries and matching rooftop solar panel systems, with deliveries expected to begin in February next year.
Origin already has 400,000 out of its 4.3 million customers around Australia using solar energy. The AFR reports that an entry-level Origin system will start at just over $16,000, with Trina solar panels and a SolarEdge inverter, with orders opening today through its website. Installations will start within a couple of months, although smaller competitors have a head start.
The Powerwall is initially targeted at early adopters, both by Tesla and by Origin, with Origin's chief executive officer of energy markets Frank Calabria telling Gizmodo that "home batteries will not be for everyone at this early stage, but with more than 80 per cent of solar PV owners in a recent survey indicating they would consider buying a home battery," that the company was confident it would have strong interest in the product.
Whether combined with solar photovoltaic power generation on users' rooftops or running standalone and drawing power from the national electricity grid, a battery energy storage system like the Powerwall can be charged either from free solar or from low-tariff off-peak grid energy, lowering a customer's overall energy costs and leveling out consumer demand from energy companies, allowing electricity generators to cut peak generation -- which varies by up to 5000 megawatts between low-demand spring and autumn and high-demand summer and winter seasons. [Origin Energy]