Batteries Will Do To Energy What Cellphones Did To Telecom: Advanced Microgrid & Tesla
Cheap battery storage will prove as disruptive to the energy industry as the cellphone has been to telecommunications, executives from two California startups—Tesla Energy and Advanced Microgrid Solutions—said today at the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas.
“I would bet that there’s not a single person in this entire audience who does not have a cellphone in their pocket,” said Susan Kennedy, CEO of Advanced Microgrid Solutions and former chief of staff for California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.
“Battery technology is now about to do the same thing to the energy industry that it did to the telecommunications industry.”
The energy industry is poised for disruption, Kennedy said, because it was built without battery storage in mind.
“If you think about it, the entire grid from the ground up was designed around the concept that energy cannot be stored. And so the whole grid is going to change dramatically because of one thing: battery storage.”
Advanced Microgrid may be the biggest customer for Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, who rattled the energy industry this spring with his announcement of Tesla Energy and its utility-scale battery, the Powerpack, which set a new low price for storage, low enough that storage may save more money in some markets than the batteries cost.
At the National Clean Energy Summit today, Tesla Vice President Diarmuid O’Connell shared the stage with Jamie Evans, a managing director at Panasonic, which is partnering with Tesla to make batteries at its giant robotic Gigafactory in Nevada.