Tesla is proposing an alternative to ongoing plans to expand the Snowy Mountains hydro-electricity plant by linking up with thousands of solar-powered homes in Australia.
If given the green light, the Snowy Hydro scheme in NSW will connect two existing reservoirs and is expected to take at least four years to complete.
However, by equipping 400,000 solar homes with a battery such as the 5kw Tesla Powerwall 2, it argued that it will generate just as much power far quicker.
“If you were to take one quarter of the Australian households with solar and apply a Powerwall, allowing half of that Powerwall to be aggregated into the grid, you’d have the same amount of power as would come from the boost of an expanded Snowy Mountains hydro at a fraction of the cost and a time frame of one to two years,” the Tesla spokesman said.
By using batteries, it also offers the added advantage of “a distributed energy source”, eliminating the need for transmission lines.
Overall, an operation on this scale is predicted to cost $4 billion upfront to install around 500,000 Powerwalls, costing the individual roughly $8,000 per piece and an installation fee of $2,000.
The Snowy 2.0 project will cost the public an estimated $2 billion, increasing its current 4.1GW capacity by 50 per cent.