As Texas finds itself in a harsh winter and as the state battles rolling blackouts, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has voiced his disgust for the situation. The CEO took to Twitter on Wednesday to note that the Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is not showing much reliability right now. However, the past few days have not been as challenging for some Tesla owners living in the Lone Star State.
Some of their experiences have been shared by Tesla owners from Texas over the past few days, particularly those who opted to install a Powerwall battery in their homes. Powerwalls, combined with solar panels, make it possible for the lights to actually remain on during a power outage. And this is exactly what has been happening based on what has been posted online so far.
For example, a video posted on Twitter by @dayyanl showed that his home was the only one with lights left as his neighborhood was plunged into darkness. In a later update, the owner of Tesla Powerwall noted that after this winter’s experience, some of his neighbors might be looking to buy their own batteries. A house that generates its own power in the midst of an outage, after all, is pretty hard to miss.
Other customers of Tesla Energy also noted that their solar panels continued to capture enough energy throughout the day, enabling them to store enough energy for night use in their Powerwall. In the midst of Texas’ rolling blackouts, this was something that has proven extremely convenient, with some owners noting that they did not even notice the power being shut off from the grid.
Even Tesla’s electric car owners have found some use for the large batteries of their vehicles. For example, a Model 3 owner opted to use his vehicle during a power outage as a warm sleeping pod for his wife, dog, and newborn daughter. In a post on the r/TeslaMotors subreddit, u/Razzooz, the owner of Tesla, noted that his family might have experienced a very rough night without the all-electric sedan and its hefty battery.
The severe weather in Texas has already claimed more than two dozen lives this week, with some struggling inside their homes to find comfort. A family tragically passed away in the Houston area after succumbing to carbon monoxide from vehicle exhaust in their garage. After they tried to use a fireplace to keep warm, another family also faced tragedy.
Over 3 million customers across Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi remained without power as of Wednesday. In four Appalachian states, over 200,000 customers have lost electricity, and another 200,000 in the Pacific Northwest experienced the same. For its part, ERCOT has noted that as of Tuesday night, electricity had already been restored to 300,000 homes and businesses.
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