The opportunity to get your home off the grid before a solar flare or Mad Max apocalypse isn’t here quite yet, but it’s coming soon … just ask Australia.
Powerwalls from Tesla arrived Down Under last week, and the rechargeable lithium-ion battery units have already been mounted on residences and hooked into local power grids.
The 230-pound liquid thermal control devices, which charge by storing electricity from solar panels or load up on grid energy when rates are low, can provide backup juice or even power your home independently depending on your electricity needs.
The 7 kilowatt-peak Powerwall is $3,000 (a 10 KWH unit is $3,500) and you’ll have to buy the panels and other gear required to take advantage of the capabilities for solar storage yourself, so installing the system isn’t cheap.
But it could be worth it.
There has been a good deal of back-and-forth about whether the Powerwall — which will allow you to sell excess energy back to the utility company if you live in an area where that’s possible — will eventually pay for itself, but Tesla claims that its wall will accomplish that goal in 10 years while providing the “non-economic benefit” of setting customers free from using non-green power.
The units are being produced at Tesla’s in-construction-but-already-running Gigafactory in Nevada so it stands to reason that they should start shipping in the U.S. fairly soon.
Want to follow Elon Musk off the grid? You can reserve one here.