Apple announced Wednesday that it’s building a big battery storage project at a Northern California photo voltaic farm it spearhead in 2015. However what the corporate didn’t share is that the battery packs will come from Tesla, The Verge has realized.

The newly-announced setup, which is able to retailer as much as 240 megawatt-hours of vitality, was authorised by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors in 2020, in response to documents submitted final year. It would include 85 Tesla lithium-ion “megapacks” and be used to assist energy the corporate’s company headquarters in Cupertino. Monterey County’s planning chief confirmed that Apple will use the Tesla batteries in an electronic mail to The Verge. Apple declined to remark. Tesla didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Tesla first introduced the megapack battery system back in 2019. The 60MW storage setup Apple can be utilizing will not be Tesla’s largest, although. The corporate has constructed larger general battery storage solutions in Australia and south of Houston, Texas of round 100MW in dimension. Nonetheless, Apple touted it as “one of the largest battery projects in the country” in a press launch, saying the battery system might energy greater than 7,000 properties for an entire day. The Tesla batteries will make it doable for Apple to retailer vitality generated by its 130-megawatt photo voltaic array on the farm, which is known as California Flats.

“The challenge with clean energy — solar and wind — is that it’s by definition intermittent,” Apple VP Lisa Jackson told Reuters on Wednesday. “If we can do it, and we can show that it works for us, it takes away the concerns about intermittency and it helps the grid in terms of stabilization. It’s something that can be imitated or built upon by other companies.”

Whereas Apple makes use of lithium-ion batteries in lots of its merchandise, it’s not recognized to be engaged on any grid-scale tasks. The corporate is reportedly developing a lithium iron phosphate battery for its electric car project, although.

Apple and Tesla don’t have a lot overlapping historical past, although every firm is infamous for poaching expertise from the opposite. Tesla CEO Elon Musk additionally stated in December that he tried to pitch the idea of Apple buying his company back in 2018, however that Apple CEO Tim Cook dinner “refused” to take the assembly.

Tesla is finest recognized for its electrical automobiles, nevertheless it’s spent years making an attempt to construct up an vitality storage enterprise to go with the photo voltaic merchandise it acquired when it purchased Photo voltaic Metropolis. It has gotten more and more concerned in large-scale vitality storage tasks like Apple’s over time along with its residence battery enterprise.

Whereas it’s nonetheless modest in comparison with the billions of {dollars} generated by Tesla’s automotive enterprise, the vitality storage division’s merchandise has already netted no less than one different unusual bedfellow buyer: in 2019, Volkswagen introduced it was utilizing Tesla batteries at some of its Electrify America charging stations.

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