Apple reported on Wednesday that it is beginning a massive battery storage project at a solar farm in Northern California. Last year, the Monterey County Board of Supervisors approved the plant, which will store up to 240 MWh of energy and be used to help power the company’s Cupertino headquarters.
Apple chose Tesla, the undisputed leader in the electric vehicle sector and a company with extensive experience in the batteries, to collaborate on such a large-scale project, which Apple defines as among the largest energy storage systems in the world.
Apple’s battery storage installation will include 85 Megapacks, Tesla’s flagship energy storage device that is specifically planned for grid use, according to a statement from Monterey County’s planning chief to The Verge.
Apple has remained silent on the topic, and Tesla has yet to respond to reports about its battery storage project.
Apple said in a press release that the 240 MWh system could power 7,000 homes for a day. The project will also store energy generated by the California Flats solar farm, which has a capacity of 130 megawatts. According to Reuters, Lisa Jackson, Apple’s Vice President of Climate, Policy, and Social Initiatives, said the large battery would aid grid stabilization.
“The challenge with clean energy – solar and wind – is that it’s by definition intermittent. 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,” the Apple VP said.
Despite the fact that Apple and Tesla are in separate markets, the two firms have a history of stealing talent from one another. Elon Musk has also been candid about his previous interactions with Apple executives. During the Model 3 ramp’s darkest days, the Tesla CEO claims he tried to pitch the idea of Apple buying Tesla, but Tim Cook declined to meet with him. In some respects, Cook’s alleged refusal to meet with Musk helped Tesla, as Musk was able to take the business to even greater heights once the Model 3 ramp was ironed out.