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Tesla deployed 6.5GWh energy storage in 2022, ‘thinking carefully’ about next Megapack factory site


Energy storage deployments by electric carmaker and tech company Tesla grew 64% year-on-year, reaching 6.5GWh in 2022.

Tesla’s fourth quarter 2022 financial results, released yesterday, showed increases in both its solar and energy storage deployments for the quarter as well as for the full year just gone.

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On a quarterly basis, its solar deployments went up 18% from 85MW in Q4 2021 to 100MW in Q4 2022, while storage deployments went from 978MWh in Q4 2021 to 2,462MWh in Q4 2022, a 152% increase.

The company combines the technologies in its revenue figures, making it difficult to assess the relative performance of each segment, but the total equated to US$1,131,000,000 for the previous quarter versus US$688 million in Q4 2021 for its energy generation and storage activities.

Corresponding quarterly costs of revenues in the generation and storage business were US$1,151,000 for Q4 2022 and US$739 million for Q4 2021.

Nonetheless, it continues to represent a fraction of total revenues, with total automotive revenue for Q4 2022 at US$21.3 billion, versus US$15.8 billion total cost of revenues for automotives in that timeframe.

Annual energy deployments, shown in the chart below, show just how much storage has grown since the first launch of the Powerwall residential and Powerpack commercial-scale battery energy storage system (BESS) solutions in 2015.

The stationary storage product range has changed since then, with Powerwall upgraded to its second generation and Megapack, the 3MWh utility-scale units now representing the larger scale end of Tesla’s output. Tesla also hasn’t broken out Megapack and Powerwall deployment figures separately but it appears highly likely utility and grid-scale deployments far exceed residential.

After 2021’s energy storage deployments had seen a 32% year-on-year increase from 2020, Tesla said at the beginning of last year that it was aiming to grow its stationary BESS business during 2022, with demand for products in 2021 “substantially above” production capacity according to executives.

Solar meanwhile, is on what appears to be a much more gradual growth trajectory, and in fact the company’s solar PV deployments were much higher in 2017, the year after Tesla acquired US installer and leasing company SolarCity, when it registered 523MW versus 2022’s 348MW.

Tesla’s annual energy storage and solar deployments, as reported by the company. Solar PV deployments are in megawatts, storage in megawatt-hours. Image: Solar Media.

Understandably, an earnings call with analysts was largely focused on the company’s electric vehicle (EV) business and its progress in developing its advanced 4680 battery cell in-house.

Solar was barely mentioned in an earnings call hosted by executives including CEO Elon Musk, and a question on the controversial solar roof rollout went unanswered.

Conversely, Musk referred to the “record growth” of the energy storage business, which is “continuing to accelerate”. This was reinforced by remarks from CFO Zachary Kirkhorn.

“The Energy business had its strongest year yet across all metrics, led by steady improvement in both retail and commercial storage,” Kirkhorn said.

“While much work remains to grow this business and improve costs, we believe we are on a good trajectory.”

An investor’s question about the growing demand for stationary energy storage – which Musk has previously said could one day become as big a part of Tesla as its vehicles – asked where Tesla will build its next factory for assembling Megapacks. The company’s first, in Lathrop, California, opened last year.

Musk said Tesla would likely provide an update on that in the future, “but it is something that we’re thinking about very carefully,” the CEO said.’ publisher Solar Media will host the 8th annual Energy Storage Summit EU in London, 22-23 February 2023. This year it is moving to a larger venue, bringing together Europe’s leading investors, policymakers, developers, utilities, energy buyers and service providers all in one place. Visit the official site for more info.

Solar Media will also host the 5th Energy Storage Summit USA, 28-29 March 2023 in Austin, Texas. Featuring a packed programme of panels, presentations and fireside chats from industry leaders focusing on accelerating the market for energy storage across the country. For more information, go to the website.

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