While it might sound weird for a car company to swoop in and become your utility company, it’s not as unlikely as you might think. At least that’s what Tesla’s filing to become an electricity provider in the UK might suggest. But do they just want to install local solar panels, or might they be looking at even bigger projects?
Tesla’s new Autobidder
Tesla recently unveiled a new product for smartly managing your solar panels and battery storage. Autobidder uses machine learning to predict energy prices and trade power in real-time. This platform is leaps ahead of the simple scheduling available to residential Powerwall owners previously. And it’s built for everyone, from that residential Powerwall owner, all the way up to the massive Hornsdale Power Reserve in Australia.
Technology like this can greatly help efforts to reduce emissions. Autobidder essentially allows battery owners at all levels to use their storage more efficiently. Rather than just charging your battery up and leaving it until you need it, you can sell your storage to the power company. They can pay you to store their excess solar power, reducing their reliance on coal power plants to respond to energy demand.
It seems like Tesla is probably applying to become a power company to facilitate this platform. This way, the power companies trading with the Autobidder can work with Tesla directly.
Tesla themselves probably won’t become your local energy provider. The thousands of people with Tesla solar and Powerwalls are all going to be part of the Tesla power company. And so are the utility providers working with them and using the Autobidder. Though I guess there isn’t anything stopping Tesla from building a bunch of Megapacks and collecting the profit with Autobidder.
The tech behind the Autobidder is really cool. Tesla has years of experience with machine learning working on Autopilot. Autobidder is able to participate in energy markets in real-time increasing the efficiency of your storage. It can even participate in day-ahead markets, predicting future energy prices and trading based on that.
Tesla’s new Autobidder can help increase your return on your battery investment. This will help push more utility companies and individuals to invest in battery storage. And lack of storage is one of the biggest obstacles in the way of green energy.
With energy installations around the world, the distributed nature of Autobidder would make Tesla the worlds “biggest” power company. Hopefully, the savings drive enough people to buy solar that it also becomes the biggest in terms of power produced. With all that machine learning though, let’s just hope it works better than “Smart” Summon did when it released.
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