According to a Texas electricity regulators application filed earlier this month, Elon Musks Tesla is now looking beyond electric cars, solar panels, and energy storage. He wants to supply electricity directly to customers. Energy Choice Matters reported the first time about the application.
The request was filed on August 16 with the Texas Public Utilities Commission to be a "retail electric provider" (REP) under Tesla Energy Ventures. REPs are those who purchase wholesale electricity from power generators to sell it to customers in the highly deregulated and idiosyncratic Texas market. There are more than 100 REPs competing on the open market.
Separate applications were also filed by the company for utility-scale batteries in Lone Star State. One 250-megawatt battery was located near Austin's Gigafactory, while another 100 MW project is outside Houston. Although these projects are not related to the company's efforts to become an electrical provider, taken together, they show an ambitious roadmap to Tesla's energy businesses.
Imagine Tesla selling electricity to customers. It could also sell excess energy from Tesla Powerwall and Solar panel products to customers. Then, it would be able to return the grid. This is one way Musk could realize his dream of making every home a distributed power station.
Six months ago, a record-breaking winter storm in Texas left large areas of Texas' power grid unreachable. This caused millions of people to lose power for several days. A few REPs were shut down by the storm which caused wholesale electricity prices to spike up to $9,000 per megawatt hour (the seasonal average is about $50).
Musk, who relocated many operations from California to Texas, including SpaceX's large facility in Boca Chica. He also criticised the state grid operator via Twitter:
. @ERCOT_ISO does not earn that R Elon Musk (@elonmusk), February 17, 2021
He stated that the company wasn't earning the R, which refers to the R in the acronym for Electric Reliability Council of Texas.
Tesla Energy Ventures informed PUC regulators it would leverage Tesla's existing energy division to drive sales. This includes leveraging the company's mobile app, and website. The application states that Tesla Energy Ventures will target existing customers who own Tesla products and promote the retail offer to them through the Tesla website and mobile app. The Tesla Energy Customer Support Organization will also be available to assist customers in their customer acquisition efforts.
Ana Stewart is listed in the title of president of Tesla Energy Ventures. Since 2017, she has been working for Tesla as the director of regulatory credit trade. She was previously employed at Tesla-acquired SolarCity.
The docket number for the application is 52431.