Where will the Electricity Come From?
The big energy news this week is Tesla’s decision to locate its massive Giga Factory in Nevada. On Sept. 11, the Nevada State legislature approved a package of legislation giving Tesla Motors (TSLA) $1.25 billion in tax breaks and low cost electricity to build the batter manufacturing facility.
The Giga Factory could be a real game changer because it is designed to produce enough lithium ion batteries to store one billion watts or a gigawatt of electricity a year. That is enough to power 500,000 electric cars or provide backup electricity for 500,000 homes or business.
Now for the big question that nobody including Tesla Chairman Elon Musk has been asking. Where will the electricity to power those batteries come from? Solar panels probably wouldn’t do it and neither will wind mills. Musk also heads SolarCity (SCTY) the Solar panel company that uses Tesla battery packs for back up.
This of course provides a huge opportunities for new energy technologies such as low energy nuclear reaction or LENR. Sooner or later Tesla is going to have to start generating electricity. Tesla already operates networks of charging stations or super chargers which are really filling stations for electric cars in the United States, Europe and China.
Currently these facilities rely on the electric grid for power but what happens when the grid goes down. There’s already evidence it cannot support electric cars. Tesla will need to provide electricity 24 hours a day seven days a week. That means Tesla will have to start generating electricity at the charging stations.
There’s also the cost of electricity, it’s likely that utilities will charge Tesla more for the charging stations. This is likely to occur because utilities will need to build additional power lines and other infrastructure to serve the charging stations.
My guess is that Musk would have a hard time convincing local authorities to put a diesel generator at each of his stations. Nor would a natural gas burning turbine of some sort be welcome.
That sounds like an excellent opportunity for a small scale non-polluting generator. Particularly one that does not run on fossil fuels like fuel cells do. That could be a tremendous opportunity for LENR technologies like Andrea Rossi’s ecat and Brillouin’s hot tube boilers.
Rossi’s ecat would be the perfect size to fit in at Tesla charging stations. It is the size of a cargo container or a delivery truck. Rossi’s one megawatt ecat would be an ideal power source for a Tesla charging station. It could generate the large amounts of electricity needed without polluting. It might also be cheaper than natural gas.