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Tesla wants to build batteries in Texas to stabilize state's power grid

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Tesla wants to build batteries in Texas to stabilize state's power grid
If approved, Tesla could sell kilowatts during a power emergency by drawing either from the grid or Tesla-made home batteries. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 27 (UPI) -- Tesla is aiming to enter the energy market in Texas by producing batteries that could help residents in a state where the vulnerable grid system left many customers without power a few months ago.

During near record-cold temperatures in Texas in February, electricity surges caused power to trip offline and forced utilities to begin controlled rolling outages to keep the entire system from collapse.

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Earlier this month, Tesla Energy Ventures, a subsidiary of Tesla, filed an application with the Public Utility Commission of Texas to provide electricity as a retailer.

If approved, Tesla could sell kilowatts during a power emergency by drawing either from the grid or Tesla-made home batteries. The company could also so let individual Texans with solar panels earn money by sharing excess power with the grid.

Gambit Energy Storage, a Tesla subsidiary, is also building a 100-megawatt energy storage unit in Angleton, near Houston.

Tesla has also expressed interest in building a 250-megawatt battery outside of Austin, according to Bloomberg.

Tesla has been ramping up energy projects in recent years. In 2015, founder Elon Musk unveiled the company's Powerwall battery and Tesla bought solar panel installer SolarCity in 2016.

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In 2017, Tesla provided a giant $50 million lithium-ion battery in southern Australia to help provide power. The company says tat battery, which occupies less than 2.5 acres of land, can power as many as 30,000 homes for an hour during a blackout.

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