March 9, 2021 Read More →

Tesla subsidiary building 100MW battery storage project in Texas

Bloomberg:

Elon Musk is getting into the Texas power market, with previously unrevealed construction of a gigantic battery connected to an ailing electric grid that nearly collapsed last month. The move marks Tesla Inc.’s first major foray into the epicenter of the U.S. energy economy.

A Tesla subsidiary registered as Gambit Energy Storage LLC is quietly building a more than 100 megawatt energy storage project in Angleton, Texas, a town roughly 40 miles south of Houston. A battery that size could power about 20,000 homes on a hot summer day. Workers at the site kept equipment under cover and discouraged onlookers, but a Tesla logo could be seen on a worker’s hard hat and public documents helped confirm the company’s role.

Property records on file with Brazoria County show Gambit shares the same address as a Tesla facility near the company’s auto plant in Fremont, California. A filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lists Gambit as a Tesla subsidiary. Executives from Tesla did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

The battery-storage system being built by Tesla’s Gambit subsidiary is registered with Ercot and sits adjacent to a Texas-New Mexico Power substation. Warren Lasher, senior director of system planning at Ercot, said the project has a proposed commercial operation date of June 1. The battery’s duration remains unclear, and Ercot couldn’t comment on the project’s capability.

Tesla Energy could represent up to 30% of the company’s total revenue by the 2030s, up from roughly 6% today, according to analyst Alexander Potter of Piper Sandler. His research has highlighted the potential for Autobidder, a software platform Tesla designed for utilities. Tesla Chief Financial Officer Zachary Kirkhorn has described Autobidder as an “autonomous energy market participation system that does high-frequency trading.” Potter has a $1,200 price target on Tesla stock, the highest on Wall Street.

“Tesla’s energy storage business on a percentage basis is growing faster than their car business, and it’s only going to accelerate,” said Daniel Finn-Foley, head of energy storage at Wood Mackenzie Power and Renewables. “They are absolutely respected as a player, and they are competing aggressively on price.”

[Dana Hull and Naureen S Malik]

More: Tesla is plugging a secret mega-battery into the Texas grid

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