Tesla prepares for major growth in U.S. behind-the-meter energy storage in 2016


GTM Research has analyzed a regulatory filing by Tesla Motors, and calculates that the company expects to supply SolarCity with 116 megawatt-hours (MWh) of its lithium-ion battery products for behind-the-meter use in 2016. This is more than this entire market segment in 2015.

GTM Research bases these figures on a 14A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, in which the company estimates that it will sell US$44 million in energy storage products, including its Powerwall residential battery system and PowerPack product, to SolarCity in 2016.

Tesla holds a multi-year contract to supply batteries to SolarCity, and this would be a 450% growth the $8 million in 2015 sales to SolarCity.

The research company says that at current prices this is around 168 MWh of batteries, but is expected to include the supply of a 52 MWh battery to SolarCity for a solar PV and energy storage project on the island of Kaua’i. When the battery for the Kaua’i project is excluded, Tesla should be supplying SolarCity with 116 MWh of batteries.

GTM Research estimates that the United States deployed only 71 MWh of behind-the-meter energy storage in all of 2015, and Tesla batteries deployed by SolarCity made up 37% of this.

“These are, of course, just estimates based on projected revenue,” states GTM Research Senior Energy Storage Analyst Ravi Manghani. “Regardless, they indicated a behind-the-meter energy storage market poised for major growth in the U.S.”