Nearly 800 Tesla Powerwall 2 batteries clocked en route to Australia

Keeping a tally of residential battery installation numbers in Australia is no easy task, thanks to the secretive nature of the industry.

But a Tweet from Tesla container ship and delivery tracker VedaPrime reminds us that demand for home energy storage is ticking along nicely in the land of abundant rooftop solar.

“792 Tesla Powerwalls are heading to Australia this week,” VedaPrime wrote on Thursday, give or take a few hashtags and emojis. “Nice @elonmusk. Australia is a very nice market for Tesla.”

And in a week where Tesla was announced as the technology provider for the 300MW/450MWh Big Battery to be built in Victoria by Neoen, this certainly rings true.

That said, the shipment size looks relatively modest considering SunWiz recently estimated that around 22,661 battery systems were installed around Australia over the course of 2019 – a record year of uptake by homes and businesses.

But then perhaps this is all the stock that Tesla can spare, in light of reports that the EV and battery maker has raised the US price of the Powerwall 2 by $US500, due to surging home market demand for the battery systems, driven by attractive state subsidies.

In Australia, Tesla’s 13.5kWh Powerwall 2 batteries are popular items in solar retailer catalogues and, at $A11,700 plus installation costs, are relatively reasonably priced in a market with increasing amounts of competition.

And like in the US, their popularity has been given a nudge by state government policy incentives such as the subsidies offered in Victoria and South Australia – the latter in connection with that state’s virtual power plant scheme.

As one comment below VedaPrime’s tweet suggested, South Australia could be where the Powerwalls are headed, considering the state’s Liberal government just this minute announced it has thrown more money at its Home Battery Scheme, to encourage the uptake of home battery systems with higher storage capacity, such as Tesla’s.

In September, Tesla launched phase three of its SA home battery-based virtual power plant, extending the scheme to another 3,000 public housing properties and kicking off a “world-first” deal to procure a Big Battery’s worth of grid support services.

As South Australia energy minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan said at the time, “Tesla’s vision is to grow this VPP to include 50,000 homes across South Australia and has already started adding private households in addition to the Housing SA tenants participating in the project.”

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