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Tesla’s Q2 solar losses offset by record-breaking 415MWh of battery storage deployments

Commercial project developers and installers deploying Tesla Powerpack systems include the pictured project, from AMS. Image: AMS.

Tesla has had a record-breaking quarter for its stationary storage division, while a 40% quarter-on-quarter drop in solar installs went unexplained in an Update Letter issued by the company.  

In reporting second quarter 2019 financial results, Tesla’s solar installations reached a new record low, while its ‘Powerwall’ and ‘Powerpack’ energy storage products set a new deployment record. 

Tesla’s retrofit solar installations plummeted to only 29MW in the second quarter of 2019, down from 47MW in the previous quarter, then a new low for the company. The Update Letter provided only the slimmest narrative on its Energy division, since acquiring SolarCity in late 2016. There has been no update on the much touted solar roof tiles. 

“We are in the process of improving many aspects of this business to increase deployments,” read Tesla’s Update Letter for the reporting period.

Powerwall (residential) and Powerpack (commercial, industrial and utility) ESS deployments increased by 81% in the second quarter of 2019, achieving a record 415MWh. Image: Mark Osborne / Solar Media

In stark contrast, Tesla reported that its Powerwall and Powerpack deployments increased by 81% in the second quarter of 2019, achieving a record 415MWh. This comes after being capacity constrained at Gigafactory 1 through 2018 and a complete stop in production allocation of energy storage products to meet EV Model 3 demand. Tesla noted that its Powerwall product, primarily for residential applications had cumulative installs that had surpassed 50,000 site locations in the reporting quarter. 

During Tesla’s earnings call with financial analysts, Tesla’s management noted that battery cell production volume had continued to ramp in-line with the production ramp rate, reducing capacity constraints that enabled the surge in energy storage installs. This was all said to be due to a new storage system module line, designed by Tesla Grohmann that entered production.
 
Due to the significant upswing in energy storage deployments, offset by the heavy decline in solar installations, the Energy division revenue reached US$368.2 million, up 13%, quarter-on-quarter but down 2% from the prior year period.
 

Stark contrast: Tesla’s retrofit solar installations plummeted to only 29MW in the second quarter of 2019, down from 47MW in the previous quarter, then a new low for the company. Image: Mark Osborne / Solar Media

This story first appeared on PV Tech. Follow Mark on Twitter: @madmarkO

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