Tesla joins effort to pair batteries with offshore wind power

Tesla and wind farm developer Deepwater Wind are planning to team up to create the largest project in the world that combines an offshore wind farm with large-scale electricity storage, the companies announced Tuesday.

The project, called the Revolution Wind Farm, would generate electricity about 12 miles off the shore of Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, and store some of it in large batteries built by Tesla.

The project would have the capacity to generate 144 megawatts of wind power, or enough electricity to power 80,000 homes, according to Deepwater Wind.

The Block Island Wind Farm, America's first offshore wind farm, was built by Deepwater Wind and began operating in 2016. Source: Climate Central

The Block Island Wind Farm, America’s first offshore wind farm, was built by Deepwater Wind and began operating in 2016. Source: Climate Central

If approved by the state, the wind farm would begin operating in 2023. It is expected to be built next to another wind farm proposed by Deepwater Wind called the South Fork Wind Project.

That project would serve Long Island, New York.

The companies proposed Revolution Wind as part of a call in Massachusetts for new sources of renewable energy across the state.

The state hopes to generate more clean energy to meet its climate goals by cutting the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Electric power plants running on coal and natural gas have historically been America’s largest source of carbon pollution contributing to climate change.

Revolution Wind brings together two new industries in the U.S. — offshore wind and electricity storage.

The expansion and scalability of renewables depends in part on new ways to store wind and solar power, which today can only be used when the wind is blowing and the sun is shining.

Big batteries are seen as a solution to that problem because they allow renewable energy to be used whenever it’s needed.

So far, batteries are most often used to store solar power. Tesla has teamed up with electric companies in California to build batteries to help them use more solar, but it has not used the batteries for offshore wind power anywhere in the U.S.

(Ed: Tesla’s big battery in South Australia will be paired with the Hornsdale wind farm).

Tesla has not said what kind of batteries it plans to use for Revolution Wind, but the large batteries it currently builds, including the Tesla PowerPack, are composed of 16 pods that together weigh more than 3 tons and are 7 feet tall.