Tesla is lobbying Texas to change its renewable energy rules

Tesla is pushing for changes to Texas energy market rules that would allow anyone with solar panels or battery storage to essentially sell excess electricity back to the grid. The company wants homeowners to be able to participate in the market, including, of course, owners of Tesla’s residential products, such as its Powerwall.

Tesla is outlining its request as a bid to insulate the Texas grid from the kinds of demand spikes that have caused major blackouts in the past: an act of good corporate citizenship, if you will. This painless has the added benefit of making Tesla products more attractive.

Tesla has filed a request for rule change with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which oversees the state’s independent grid, requesting that it allow utility customers to sell excess electricity back to the grid as they are allowed to do in most other electrical set-ups nationwide.

This will be a huge financial benefit for those with solar panels or battery storage technology at home. For example, Tesla’s Powerwall products allow people to store their own solar power to use as their own backup – individual storage capacity means “when the grid goes down your power remains turned on, “the company said.

And in Texas, the grid dropping is far from a distant possibility. Texas’s independent grid was particularly vulnerable to blackouts, evidenced by large losses caused by the cold snap and increasing power demand in February 2021.

If regulators change the rule as required by Tesla, homeowners could collectively serve as a backup for the grid as a whole, preventing it from completely shutting down in case of excessive demand. .

According to a LinkedIn post from Tesla’s head of policy on energy markets Arushi Sharma Frank, the company continues to hear it will take 4-6 years to change state policies. Tesla wants to speed it up – meaning this year – and so the company is asking the ERC to speed up the filing process accordingly.

Tesla’s previous lobbying has primarily focused on allowing its Megapack batteries to be deployed at the utility level, an effort that has virtually no impact on users of the company’s residential energy products. If this latest effort succeeds, however, Tesla has the potential to make it more attractive for Texan individuals to generate and store their own renewable energy: a blessing both for their wallets and for the grid. .


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