ON: Mark McClurg and Leslie McKay with the Tesla Powerwall.
ON: Mark McClurg and Leslie McKay with the Tesla Powerwall. Keagan Elder

Switching on the power revolution

MODERN technology has allowed the everyday home user to take control of their power usage and apply it to their needs rather than that of the power companies.

Coffs Harbour's Leslie McKay was the first to have a Tesla Powerwall and SMA Sunny Boy Storage unit installed in his home.

This system works alongside the solar system he has installed but gives him far greater control over his power usage.

"The main reason (for the installation) is to do our bit for the environment," Leslie said.

But Leslie said the control these two devices gave him won him over.

Leslie said his solar panels, coupled with his average use of power, meant a lot of power was going back into the grid.

With the change in tariffs, from 60 cents a kWh to six cents a kWh, he felt he was far better off being able to store this power than let it go back into the grid.

The Tesla Powerwall installed now allows Leslie to power his home with the excess power generated from his solar panels.

"It's 6.5kW. Basically it will supply the house all night long," he said.

Coffs Solar Energy managing director Mark McClurg said this new technology had helped start an "energy revolution".

Mark said the technology, such as the Tesla Powerwall and SMA Sunny Boy Storage unit, gave consumers more power than simply paying the electricity prices set by power companies

"Before you were at the mercy of the power companies," he said.

"The energy industry is changing.

" It's all about energy independence. Taking the power away from the retailer and putting it in (the consumer's) control."

He said Leslie made a prime example of this switch of power.

"Being on the original NSW Solar Bonus Scheme 60 cent feed-in tariff rebate, the idea of exporting surplus solar energy back to the grid for only five or six cents per kWh does not sit well with Leslie. Not when his cost of power is around 28 cents per kWh," he said.

Mark said the latest version of the Powerwall was compatible with the German-made SMA device and allowed for a far more simplified set up than years before.

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