U.S. Alternative Energy Correspondent
Nichola's Feed
May 4, 2015

Tesla faces competition for customers, subsidies

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Tesla Motors Inc’s plan to generate new revenue by repackaging electric car batteries as home and business power storage systems faces stiff competition for both customers and the government subsidies that are critical to the market’s growth.

At the unveiling of its suite of storage battery systems on Thursday, Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said at a company event near Los Angeles the new Tesla Energy was far ahead of its competition in offering an integrated system for generating solar power and storing it on-site.

May 1, 2015

Tesla unveils suite of batteries for homes, businesses

LOS ANGELES, April 30 (Reuters) – Tesla Motors Inc
unveiled Tesla Energy – a suite of batteries for homes,
businesses and utilities – a highly-anticipated plan to expand
its business beyond electric vehicles.

Tesla introduced its home battery, named Powerwall, a
rechargeable lithium-ion battery to store energy at residential
level for load shifting, backup power and self-consumption of
solar power generation.

Apr 30, 2015

Tesla hunts for new revenue in home storage batteries

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Tesla Motors Inc shares slipped Thursday after a month-long surge ahead of Chief Executive Elon Musk’s expected announcement that the money-losing electric luxury car maker will seek new revenues from batteries for storing electricity at homes and businesses.

Musk and other Tesla officials have dropped a series of broad hints over the past month about the topic of the announcement, which is scheduled for 8 p.m. Pacific time Thursday at a Tesla facility near Los Angeles.

Apr 27, 2015

AES says power storage business expanding into Europe, new U.S. markets

LOS ANGELES, April 27 (Reuters) – AES Corp unveiled
plans on Monday to expand its energy storage business into
Europe and in new U.S. markets as the power industry aims to
boost the reliability of renewable energy.

In total, AES has more than 1,000 MW of energy storage
projects in development, according to AES Energy Storage
President John Zahurancik. Of that total, 260 MW is in
construction or late stage development. For comparison, 1,000 MW
is about the output of a typical U.S. nuclear reactor.

Apr 15, 2015

Exclusive: Warm winter temperatures slammed California wind farms

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Wind energy deliveries to California’s top utility fell by half in the first two months of the year because of unusually weak winds in some Western states. The slowed wind energy production has exacerbated electricity shortfalls caused by a long drought, which has reduced hydroelectric power in the most populous U.S. state.

Southern California Edison, which is owned by Edison International, said that any gaps left by the 50% drop in wind production during an exceptionally warm January and February will be filled with electricity bought on the open market. Spot purchases tend to be more expensive and often come from natural gas.

Apr 2, 2015

NextEra’s Hawaii deal faces big concerns from solar players

By Nichola Groom

(Reuters) – NextEra Energy Inc’s (NEE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) $4.3 billion plan to buy Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc (HE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) has made solar companies uneasy, worried that the deal would reverse the island state’s push to decentralize its power grid.

In documents filed with Hawaii’s utility regulator, SunPower Corp (SPWR.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), SunEdison Inc (SUNE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and a group backed by SolarCity (SCTY.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) say they are worried the acquisition would be bad for their businesses, many of which have grown dramatically in the Aloha State in just a few years. The deal, announced in December, needs Public Utilities Commission approval.

Mar 13, 2015

China’s BYD takes aim at Tesla in battery factory race

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Chinese automaker BYD (1211.HK: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Co Ltd (002594.SZ: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), aims to triple its production of batteries as it takes on Tesla Motors (TSLA.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) in the race to supply electric vehicles and boost energy storage.

Shenzhen-based BYD plans to add 6 gigawatt hours of global production for batteries in each of the next three years, and hopes to keep adding at that pace afterwards if demand is solid, Matthew Jurjevich, a spokesman for the company, said on Friday.

Mar 13, 2015

Exclusive: Uber in deal with China’s BYD to test electric cars

By Nichola Groom

(Reuters) – Uber Inc said on Friday it struck a deal with Chinese automaker BYD Co Ltd to test a fleet of electric cars for its drivers.

The test program, which kicked off a few weeks ago in Chicago and could eventually expand to other cities, is the Silicon Valley startup’s first attempt to focus on an electric vehicle, said Uber spokeswoman Lauren Altmin.”We’ve seen interest in the program already from current and potential Chicago partners (drivers),” Altmin said.

Mar 10, 2015

California renewable energy zone plan gets revamp after criticism

By Nichola Groom

(Reuters) – An ambitious plan to put California’s renewable energy projects in areas where the environment will face the least harm is getting a major overhaul after years of delays and criticism from developers, environmentalists and counties.

Started in 2008 under then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan aims to identify 22.5 million acres of land for solar, wind and geothermal projects to meet California’s ambitious goal of sourcing one-third of its electricity from renewable sources.

Mar 5, 2015

Exclusive: SunEdison purchases U.S. energy storage firm in fast-growing market

By Nichola Groom

(Reuters) – U.S. solar project developer SunEdison Inc (SUNE.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is expanding into the fast-growing market for grid energy storage with the acquisition of a startup that pairs big batteries with solar installations.

SunEdison said its purchase of Solar Grid Storage LLC, to be announced on Thursday, will allow it to begin building a storage plan across the country, Tom Leyden, SunEdison’s vice president of energy storage deployment, told Reuters on Wednesday.