- Tesla submitted an application to begin selling electricity to consumers in Texas.
- Tesla Energy Ventures is a subsidiary of Tesla that would expand the company’s role in the energy industry. Tesla is known for selling its electric vehicles, solar panels, and solar batteries, but has not operated as an energy provider before.
- After this February’s winter storms, the Texas energy industry is in flux. Several energy providers left the market after the storms and many Texans are concerned that the power grid is not reliable enough.
Tesla has applied to become a retail electric provider (REP) in Texas. The company filed an application with the Texas Public Utility Commission on August 16, 2021. If approved, Tesla will sell electricity to Texans living in deregulated areas. Approximately 85 percent of Texas has a deregulated energy market, including major cities such as Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, and Arlington.
Entrepreneur Elon Musk created a new subsidiary of Tesla to break into the retail electricity market – Tesla Energy Ventures. However, Musk himself will not be leading Tesla Energy Ventures. Instead, the role of President is filled by Ana Stewart. Stewart brings a wealth of relevant experience in the energy industry, including working as a senior analyst and analyst for renewables portfolio management at Direct Energy, a retail electric provider (REP) that operates in Texas. If the Texas PUC approves the application, Tesla Energy Ventures will join the other 120 retail energy providers operating in the Texas deregulated market.
Tesla’s application states that it will use its existing Tesla Energy Customer Support as the point of contact for energy consumers. “The [Tesla Energy Customer Support team] has already established procedures and escalation paths in place to ensure timely action to customer inquiries. The Tesla Energy Customer Support organization will receive training on retail operations, procedures, and regulation to ensure adequate capability and effectiveness,” the application states.
Tesla also filed applications to the PUC to build several utility-scale battery projects in Texas. One is a 250-megawatt battery outside of Austin. The second is a 100-megawatt battery outside of Houston. This is not the first Tesla battery project in Texas that has turned heads. In March, Bloomberg reported on Tesla’s 100-megawatt battery project in Angleton, Texas, which marked the company’s first major move into the state.