Tesla applies to become UK electricity generator

Tesla is preparing to build a new British energy business through which it could control thousands of batteries in people’s homes to help National Grid to keep the lights on.

An application to Ofgem, the energy regulator, for an electricity generation licence, published on Ofgem’s site last Wednesday, read: ‘Tesla Motors Limited hereby gives notice that it has made an application to the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority for an electricity generation licence. The closing date for comments on this licence application is 27 May 2020.

Tesla has developed a system called Autobidder for managing varied sources of electricity in an economy. Tesla describes Autobidder like this: “Batteries are highly flexible assets, but they require smart strategies and software to realise their full value,” says Tesla, “Autobidder allows owners to realise this value by handling the complex co-optimisation required to successfully stack multiple value streams simultaneously, including: Wholesale markets, including energy, ancillary services and capacity; Transmission & Distribution-level grid services; Renewable firming and shaping;  Bilateral contractual arrangements; Other portfolio needs in wholesale markets.”

This could be useful in the UK’s mixed energy supply market.p, however Tesla is not saying why it is applying for a generating licence,

One motivation could be the aggressive UK government plans to end sales of ICE cars from 2035 which will require the generation and supply of substantial extra electricity.

Another motivation could be Tesla seeing some advantages accruing to its car business from having a stake in the provision of electricity supplies.

Tesla has joined up with electricity supplier Octopus Energy to offer a tariff tailored to EVs.

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