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Tesla’s battery storage shipments topped 3,000MWh in 2020, up 83% from 2019

January 29, 2021

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):

Electric car maker Tesla Inc. finished an overall profitable 2020 with a bottom line that was significantly below expectations as the company absorbed the impact of aggressively expanding through supply chain headwinds exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Revenues nevertheless charged ahead, beating analysts’ estimates with assistance from Tesla’s energy business.

The company’s combined solar and storage revenues increased to $752 million in the last three months of 2020, up from $436 million a year before and $579 million in the third quarter, Tesla announced Jan. 27.

Utility demand for lithium-ion battery storage systems drove sales in Tesla’s energy business, which delivered 1,584 MWh of energy storage capacity in the fourth quarter of 2020, up nearly 200% from a year prior. That was the company’s strongest quarter for storage deployments to date. For the year, Tesla’s energy storage deliveries surpassed 3,000 MWh, rising 83% from 2019.

But the pandemic and constraints in battery cell supplies caused delays in some projects, notably Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s Tesla Moss Landing Battery Energy Storage Project (Elkhorn). Originally contracted to begin operations in December 2020, the 182.5-MW/730-MWh project in Moss Landing, Calif., is now expected to begin operations in early 2021 and reach full completion in the second quarter, according to a spokesperson for the PG&E Corp. utility subsidiary.

Tesla’s long-diminished solar business suffered high costs in the fourth quarter related to ramping up production of an integrated solar rooftile product originally launched in 2017, CFO Zachary Kirkhorn told analysts on a Jan. 27 call. However, the company delivered 86 MW during the fourth quarter, 59% more than a year before and the largest quarterly total that Tesla has deployed in two years.

For the full year, Tesla increased its solar deliveries 18% to 205 MW. Retrofit projects with conventional solar panels accounted for most of the growth.

[Garrett Hering]

More ($): Tesla supplied record storage, most solar in 2 years in Q4’20

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