Apple to Bulk-Buy Batteries from Tesla

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Apple is investing over $50 million in an energy storage project.

In the pursuit of renewable energy, one of the most consistent problems is one of long term storage. Solar panels on solar farms, for example, need to be able to store their energy cleanly and efficiently for times when the sun isn’t shining directly down. Tech research groups have been trying to determine a viable method for several years, and the latest to throw their hat in the ring will be none other than Apple, with a little help from Tesla.

According to a press release sent out on Wednesday, Apple announced that they are setting up a new energy storage program at one of their solar farms located in northern California. Apple is seeking to safely store 240 MWh worth of power at the farm.

“Apple is constructing one of the largest battery projects in the country, California Flats — an industry-leading, grid-scale energy storage project capable of storing 240 megawatt-hours of energy, enough to power over 7,000 homes for one day. This project supports the company’s 130-megawatt solar farm that provides all of its renewable energy in California, by storing excess energy generated during the day and deploying it when it is most needed.”

To make this project happen, Apple needs a high-capacity medium of energy storage. According to documents from the Monterey County Board of Supervisors uncovered by The Verge, their storage medium of choice will be 85 of Tesla’s industrial-grade Megapack batteries. As Tesla usually charges between $200 and $300 per kWh on Megapacks, this investment will likely cost Apple around $50 million.

While the two major tech companies are occasionally at odds with one another, Apple will need Tesla’s assistance if it hopes to achieve its goal of complete carbon neutrality by the year 2030.

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