BY TOM BERG
The world’s leading innovator of electric cars now is powering hybrid-electric buildings in Irvine.
Tesla Energy has teamed up with Irvine Company to create the world’s first fleet of hybrid-electric buildings that can reduce their power demand by 10 megawatts — enough to serve 10,000 homes — during peak hours.
How? With the help of Tesla batteries that shift electrical use to battery power as needed, just as hybrid-electric cars shift from gas to battery power to conserve energy and reduce costs.
The Tesla batteries are charged at night and used when demand peaks.
Hybrid-electric buildings are considered a new class of resource to balance the grid — and a possible replacement for expensive power plants, called “Peaker” plants, that run only during peak demand.
Irvine’s 24 hybrid-electric buildings are expected to reduce peak-power use by 25 percent.
They’re also expected to start a national trend – of customers that store power on site, easing our collective reliance on the grid.