I remember thinking last month, while the rolling blackouts didn't roll very far and many of my friends went without electricity for extended periods of time, that it would be great if there was some way to store the electricity in some sort of giant battery until it was needed in the grid. Apparently Elon Musk has been thinking the same thing.

The news is breaking on the Times Record News and Bloomberg that Tesla is installing a complex of utility grade batteries near Houston. When the installation is complete the batteries will be connected to the Texas power grid.

While the process has been kept quietly under wraps, people started noticing the Tesla logo on some of the hard hats and started researching the project. While the project is under the authority of Gambit Energy Storage LLC, that company does have ties back to Tesla.

The new complex of electrical storage units is registered with Ercot and sits adjacent to a Texas / New Mexico power substation. The proposed operational date is June 1 and the collection of batteries is expected to be able to hold enough electricity to power about 20,000 homes on a hot, summer day.

electric car SUV charging at home in front of modern low energy suburban house
Sven Loeffler / ThinkStock

While we're accustomed to hearing the name Tesla in conjunction with sleek, electric automobiles, they've been working on residential energy technology for years. They unveiled the Powerwall, a home battery product back in March of 2015. They have also promoted the idea of a "solar roof" that never really caught on. When it comes to industrial applications Tesla's Powerpack and Megapack were designed with utility customers in mind. Tesla's 100 megawatt battery project next to a wind farm in South Africa was the largest battery project in the world when it was launched in 2017.

We'll all be watching to see how this new electricity storage idea works out this summer.

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