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Elon Musk Wants To Add Storage Units To Solar Buildings

The first wave of Elon Musk’s Powerwalls have hit the US market, with each $3k, 6.4-kilowatt-hour unit able to store solar energy and provide backup for power outages.

The high costs per unit—which need trained experts for installation and a DC to AC converter—had observers skeptical that solar users would want the wall, especially when they can just sell excess power back to the grid through “net-metering” policies, Bloomberg reports.

But those policies are being phased out, and implementation of new "time-of-use" rate policies (i.e. setting power prices based on demand at the specific time of day) will improve the case for power-storage units, according to Yayoi Sekine, an analyst for Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Musk’s real estate impact goes beyond his Powerwalls—Tesla’s new 5.5M SF "gigafactory" in Nevada broke ground May 2014, and is expected to cost $5B when all is said and done.

The new factory alone will cut the cost of solar batteries by 30%, and it's not the only one of its kind—Tesla’s 1.2M SF factory in Buffalo, NY, will be pumping out 10,000 solar panels a day upon completion. [Bloomberg]