Elon Musk might have sought out to change cars, but he might also change the way we power buildings. Tesla's lithium-ion batteries are now being used in a modest number of California homes to store electricity from solar panels. SolarCity, a solar installer in Silicon Valley, is also beginning to use the batteries in businesses.
Installing these batteries and a solar panel system is part of SolarCity's "DemandLogic" system. With it, businesses can store energy for when its electric bill spikes and save 20 percent in cost. The system can also be used as a backup if power goes out in, say, an earthquake or a storm.
“Our business model is to become the energy company of the 21st century,” SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive says. “You’re still connected to the grid but the grid would be your secondary provider and the primarily provider would be your solar system and your storage device.”