Resource Guide

Tesla Commercial Energy Storage Integration - Resource Guide
By Adam Gerza
on 10/16/2019
  • commercial storage
  • energy storage
  • tesla powerwall

Table of Contents


1.) Overview - Tesla Commercial Storage Integration 

2.) Signing up - Tesla Commercial ESS integration                 

3.) Using Tesla Simulation Portal - Step 5

4.) Transactions - when using Tesla Simulation Portal 

5.) Final Checklist 

tesla

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Overview - Tesla Commercial Storage Integration 

Energy Toolbase has integrated Tesla’s Commercial Energy Storage Systems (ESS) onto the Energy Toolbase (ETB) Platform. This integration enables users to run Tesla commercial storage dispatch simulations and savings analyses that are representative of how the Tesla Powerwall, Powerpack and Megapack systems are controlled by Tesla Opticaster software.

Opticaster is Tesla’s proprietary autonomous control software that forecasts load and solar production, optimizes battery dispatch to reduce electricity bills, maximizes consumption of on-site renewables, and enables various types of grid services.

Energy Toolbase has worked with Tesla to validate the hardware specifications of the Powerwall, Powerpack and Megapack systems, as well as the software dispatch control settings on the Energy Toolbase platform. This allows users to quickly evaluate their non-residential PV+ESS or standalone-ESS projects, on any of Energy Toolbase’s 50,000+ utility rate schedules. The Tesla simulation portal on Energy Toolbase streamlines the project development workflow for commercial storage developers and gives them the confidence to know that they are running Tesla-validated storage simulations and economic analysis.



Signing Up - Tesla Commercial ESS Integration

There is no cost for Energy Toolbase users to use Tesla’s Commercial Energy Storage Simulation Portal on the Energy Toolbase platform. There is a dual opt-in process, meaning ETB accounts must first apply to use the service, and then Tesla must grant access.

Applying for access to Tesla integration 

  1. In ‘Step 5 – Energy Storage’ users will initially see a greyed-out Tesla logo. Click to apply for access.
  2. The pop-up window summarizes Tesla’s commercial ESS offering on ETB. Note: when using the Tesla Simulation Portal on ETB, users are consenting to share proposal information with Tesla, this does not include personally identifiable customer information. Click ‘I Accept’ to apply.
  3. Tesla requires ESS developers to be approved prior to granting access to the integration. Approved developers will receive the latest updates on Tesla software and hardware, as well as expert support on project analytics. Note: to become a Tesla channel partner, reach out to Tesla directly by filling out this online lead form.         
  4. Tesla will review applications and grant access accordingly. Approved users can expect to receive an email notification from both Tesla and ETB when access is granted.



Using Tesla Simulation Portal - 'Step 5'

Once an ETB account is permissioned to access the Tesla Simulation Portal, the Tesla logo will appear red in step 5. Tesla has pre-configured the ‘ESS Designs’ and ‘ESS Control Settings’ specifications in Energy Toolbase, so that users can quickly and intuitively run validated Tesla Commercial ESS dispatch simulations and savings analysis on any proposal.

 Using Tesla Simulation Portal: 

  1. System Cost: specify the all-in, total turnkey installed ESS cost, which is inclusive of all hardware, software, developer fees, EPC costs, labor, overhead and profit. Users should work with their Tesla sales representative re Tesla system pricing. Note: the default suggested cost is set initially based on the ETB user’s simple ESS costing in their ‘Company Settings’.

  2. End of Life Treatment: specify whether to replace the ESS and associated costs at end of life. Note: the transaction will determine if the replacement cost is reflected in the cash flow, which we will detail in the next section of this guide.

  3. ESS Design: select the Tesla validated ‘ESS Design’ from the drop-down menu list. Note: Tesla will periodically update these so ETB users can assume these are always up-to-date.

  4. ESS Control Setting: select the Tesla validated control setting from the drop-down list. Note: “Tesla Opticaster (ESS must charge from PV)” assumes the Tesla ESS is being paired with PV, and enforces a PV charging-only requirement in order for the ESS to be eligible for the Federal (ITC) Investment Tax Credit.

ETB Optimizer: 

Energy Toolbase users can utilize the ‘ETB Optimizer’ feature, within the Tesla Simulation Portal to simulate the performance and savings of (10) different ESS system sizes at a time, based on the selected Tesla Opticaster control logic.

ESS Detail Summary: 

Once the Tesla simulation has run, users will see the Energy Storage System (ESS) Details performance summary, which displays the following values, based on the simulation performed:

Total Energy Capacity: rated kWh of the ESS

Max Discharge Power: rated kW of the ESS

Annual Equivalent Full Battery Cycles: # of cycles   

Annual Energy Discharged: kWh discharged from ESS

Annual System Losses: kWh loss from ESS

Blended Savings per kWh: savings from ESS, displayed in $/kWh of ESS capacity


ETB Analytics:

The ‘ETB Analytics’ feature enables users to view a project summary with detailed information of the Tesla ESS dispatch simulation and corresponding utility bill savings of the project.

‘Monthly Electricity Costs’ – users can view a 12-month summary view of: energy (kWh), demand (kW), and utility bill cost information both pre & post: PV & ESS. Note: selecting the ‘Show Advanced Options’ hyperlink unlocks additional display options.

‘Demand Profile Visualization’ – an interactive charting environment that allows users to visualize interval data, including usage data, solar PV data, ESS charge/discharge data, and net usage data. The charting element across the bottom displays the energy & demand costs of the selected utility rate schedule(s).

‘Download Proposal Data’ tab – allows users to download out different types of data into Excel (.csv) formatted files. The Proposal Data Download file shows all the raw project inputs and calculated values. The Interval Data Download exports 365-days of 15-minute interval data for Current Usage, PV Generation, ESS Performance, and Net Usage in a multi-column format. 



                                                             

Transactions - when using Tesla Simulation Portal   

Energy Toolbase users are free to use any type of Financing Transaction in Step 6 when utilizing the Tesla Commercial storage integration. There are a few considerations to be aware of:

 'Equipment Replacement' cost: 

The default Tesla ‘Replacement Cost’ is initially based on how users have defined their ‘Simple Battery Replacement $/kWh’ cost in their company settings.

If you select ‘Replace ESS and include associated costs’ for the End of Life Treatment, you need to ensure you are including the ‘Equipment Replacement’ cash-flow in your Transaction. Otherwise, you would effectively be showing the positive benefit of getting a new ESS at end of life, but not accounting for the corresponding cost in the cash flow and financial model. Note: we have added two base Tesla transactions to your account, a cash purchase and a loan, that includes equipment replacement, as well as user inputs for any (O&M) Operations and maintenance costs for both PV and ESS. 

To edit the Tesla ‘Replacement Cost’ go to ‘Company Settings’ > ‘Energy Storage Settings’ tab > ‘Tesla’ > click on individual ‘detailed ESS system design’ > to redefine those values.

Also be mindful of how the PV inverter ‘replacement cost’ is defined in your ‘company settings’, because that value will also pull into the financial model if you are modeling a PV+ESS project.

Tesla ESS Life Span & Degradation:

Approved ETB uses can view the ‘Tesla ESS System Design’ characteristics in their company settings. Note: Tesla has elected to set the Battery Life Span at 15 years, and (annual) Battery Degradation Rate at 2-3% depending on the product selected. Tesla also offers a 20-year warranty for Powerpack and Megapack products. Please contact your Tesla sales representative for details.

 

Term (years) of the Transaction:

In order to design and model a project that shows attractive project economics (IRR, ROI, NPV), users should be mindful of the Transaction term they specify.

For example, if the user elects to ‘Replace ESS and include associated costs’ at End of Life, which is effectively 15 years; they would be would wise to model a 30-year Transaction, in order to fully capture and realize 15 full years of savings after the ESS is replaced (in years 16 through 30). Alternatively, it would be unwise to replace the ESS cost at year 15, and only model a 20-year Transaction term, because they would incur the full replacement cost, but only capture 5 additional years of ESS savings after replacement, which would hurt the IRR and NPV of the project.

 

Including other ESS Monetary Value Streams:

Users can elect to customize their Financial Transaction template(s) to include additional cash flows, in order to account for additional value streams in their financial analysis. Cash flows can be structured as either a one-time payment or as an annual recurring payment.

One example of a recurring value stream could a Grid Services program, where the Tesla ESS captures value by providing a benefit to the utility or independent system operator. Note: Energy Toolbase intends to add functionality in the future that enables users to dynamically model and captures other types of Grid Services value streams in their analysis.

An example of a one-time value stream could be the Resiliency value that a Tesla ESS provides for a specific customer, by providing back-up power in the event of a grid outage and eliminating the need for a generator.

Contact your ETB account manager, and we will assist you in customizing these for your needs. You can also reach out to your Tesla sales representative for advanced analytics support on a range of grid service and microgrid applications.



Final Checklist 

We encourage users to utilize the Tesla Simulation Portal to generate a quick, indicative estimate of the project economics of adding a Tesla ESS to your project. This integration is a great tool to qualify viable standalone ESS projects or PV+ESS projects and determine if there’s a meaningful savings opportunity.

We’ve compiled a final checklist of items to ensure you’re accurately modeling and optimizing the project economics of the Tesla ESS project for your customer:

Final Checklist Items: 

  1. ESS System Price - doublecheck to confirm that your ‘System Cost’ in Step 5 represents the all-in, turnkey installed cost of the ESS System.
  2. Equipment Replacement Cost - If you are electing to ‘Replace the ESS’ for the ‘End of Life Treatment’, verify that the ‘Equipment Replacement Cost’ is defined correctly in ‘Company Settings’ for your selected Tesla ‘ESS Design’. Also, confirm that your selected transaction has included the ‘Equipment Replacement’ cashflow.
  3. Transaction Considerations - strategically define the transaction term (years) in instances where you are replacing the ESS system to capture full value post replacement. Also, be sure to include any other monetary value streams your ESS project is eligible for.
  4. Utility Rate Schedule - select the most advantageous, eligible utility rate schedule option for post-ESS or post-PV+ESS savings.
  5. Demand Throttle - verify the demand reduction throttle in ‘Step 2’ is set to 100% in order to capture the full demand charge management savings opportunity from both PV & ESS.
  6. Incentives - in ‘Step 3’ be sure to select all eligible ESS incentives for the project, based on the customer’s eligibility (i.e. SGIP, SMART, Federal ITC, Depreciation, etc.).

 

Contact your Energy Toolbase Account Manager to discuss any of these items.