Tesla Is One Step Closer to Supplying Electricity to Texas

Tesla does everything, or it feels like that sometimes. They make cars, solar panels, and potentially robots. SpaceX works on spaceships. Now will Tesla supplying Texas with electricity? They’ve filed the necessary paperwork to do just that. 

A sign for Tesla solar.
A Tesla Solar sign | Alex Tai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Why does Tesla want to supply Texas with electricity?

In February of 2021, Texas experienced a massive power outage that affected a large portion of the state. Much of Texas was impacted by the power outage. People were left without power for days, and more than 100 people died because of it. 

Part of the problem was that Texas operates on its own grid. Tesla wants to change that by providing electricity directly to customers in Texas. Tesla filed with the Public Utility Commission to become Tesla Energy Ventures, according to The Hill. As Tesla Energy Ventures, Tesla would store 100 megawatt electricity on the grid. 

Tesla’s plan includes using its current employees from their solar panel company. They’ll also partner with Engie Energy Marketing. The decision on Tesla’s filing will be made in November of 2021.

If Tesla does become an energy company in Texas, it’s likely that they would allow energy users that also have solar panels to earn money if they contribute excess energy back into the grid. Although there are currently dozens of other companies trying to break into Texas’ market, Tesla would be a standout in this regard. According to Texas Monthly, 13 electric companies have applied to sell power in Texas since the February 2021 power outages.

Texas’ current power supply isn’t like most states

Texas uses the Texas Interconnection managed by a non-profit called the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. The Texas Interconnection is an alternating current power grid. Because it is only in Texas, it isn’t subject to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regulations. Roughly 90% of people in Texas are connected to this grid. 

After February’s power outage, Texas began making some changes to the way they manage power. One initiative they are taking includes purchasing more power reserves. They are also increasing the amount of power being generated at any given time. 

This isn’t Tesla’s first voyage into becoming an electric provider

The Hill reports that Tesla has already built “several utility-scale energy storage systems in major key locations such as Los Angeles and Monterey, California and Geelong, Victoria, Adelaide, Australia.” They point out that providing Texas with electricity is a different animal, and one that should not be taken lightly. 

Tesla is also in the process of building a solar-powered neighborhood called SunHouse at Easton Park. All of the houses in the development will have V3 solar panels and charging stations for Teslas. They’ll also be equipped with Powerwall battery storage. Perhaps most interesting of all is that it will have the potential to act as a backup generator when there’s a power outage.

If Tesla does get their application approved in November, it would mean a pretty big opportunity for Tesla. It could also help to ease the kinds of energy problems that led to so many people being without power in February, and ultimately, more than 100 deaths. Things could also continue to improve if other electric companies manage to get into the game, too.

RELATED: Watch This Tesla Take On a Tornado