The PowerWall will replace “noisy, dirty fossil-fuel generators with zero-emission storage technology,” according to SolarCity. The battery will offer back-up power when the grid suffers an outage. Musk is chairman of SolarCity and CEO of Tesla Motors, which developed the PowerWall technology, write Louise Downing and Ehren Goossens for Bloomberg.

SolarCity Corp Customers First To Get Tesla Motors Inc Battery

Tesla moves into the home

Musk wants to expand the reach of alternative energy technology beyond electric cars and into the home. The Tesla battery is able to store power when the grid is at peak production, before dispensing it later. It costs less than half as much as current systems, claims SolarCity.

“The mainstreaming of storage solutions may ultimately spur a transformation in how electricity is produced,” said Pavel Molchanov, analyst at Raymond James Financial Inc. in Houston. “Tesla’s focus on behind-the-meter opportunities means that it’s getting into the newest, least established component of the storage space.”

“In contrast to the century-old model of centralized power plants and long-distance transmission lines, the rise of distributed generation,” can in the “very long run lead to the obsolescence of the traditional utility model,” Molchanov said.

SolarCity: Clean energy sector growing

For commercial use, SolarCity will use the Tesla batteries as part of its DemandLogic storage system, which uses stored power when grid prices are high. The batteries will also form part of the GridLogic service which provides green power to isolated areas.

SolarCity customers have been able to order the Tesla batteries since this Friday, and will receive them in October.

Black & Veatch infrastructure builders announced a partnership with Tesla under which the company will build power storage systems for commercial and industrial customers. SunPower Corp. has been offering power storage systems since last June, and CEO Tom Werner welcomes the competition.

“To the extent that Tesla does a great job, that’s good for that emerging segment and that’s good for SunPower,” he said. “I’m excited. The larger the market, the more opportunity there is.”

SolarCity competitor Sunrun will also sell the Tesla home battery system, as will NRG Energy’s Vermont electric utility.