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Tesla just made a major move in America's ongoing energy race against China — here's how it affects our power grid

Tesla has seen immense growth in demand for energy storage systems.

Tesla, America's ongoing energy race against China

Photo Credit: iStock

Electric vehicle producer Tesla is making headlines for helping to save the planet — and it's not for what you might think. It is the only American manufacturer to surpass the Chinese in terms of energy storage systems, according to Tesla Mag. 

The global supply of energy storage systems reached 72.4 gigawatt-hours, with China accounting for about 47 gigawatt-hours. However, by company, Tesla surpassed others through the first six months of 2023, generating more than 7 gigawatt-hours, or enough energy for about 2.1 million homes for an hour, based on a discussion in The Motley Fool. Per Tesla Mag, two other companies each generated about 7 gigawatt-hours, and the remaining top seven companies generated between 2.5 and 4 gigawatt-hours each. 

Tesla has seen immense growth in demand for energy storage systems, such as with its Megapack. At full capacity, its Lathrop, California, facility could produce 10,000 units per year, which amounts to 40 gigawatt-hours, per Tesla Mag. This is the same amount of energy it would take to power more than 800,000 EVs for an entire year, according to Automotive Cells Company. Tesla also announced it will build a Megapack facility in China that can produce another 10,000 units annually.

The Megpack is a battery storage system that Tesla claims will "create a cleaner grid that protects our communities and the environment." Each pack can store upward of 3 megawatt-hours of energy — enough to power 3,600 homes for an hour, according to the Tesla website. The Megapack can store the electricity generated from renewable energy sources, like wind and solar, to prevent power outages and stabilize the grid. 

One significant environmental benefit of the Megapack is that it reduces the need for natural-gas-burning peaker plants. The traditional grid relies on this technology to generate electricity during periods of high demand, resulting in copious amounts of air-polluting fumes and costs to the grid. 

Although the peaker plants have historically been useful for heat waves, when the demand on the grid has been greater, renewable energy sources have recently stepped in to support the demand. With expansions in energy storage technology, we may see peaker plants phasing out and more opportunities for green energy coming into the picture. 

Tesla's expansion of Megapacks and domination in the global energy market suggests the dominance of the business in more areas of the green economy than just EVs.

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