Elon Musk Aims to Provide Electricity With Tesla Power Company

Tesla filed to enter the deregulated energy market in Texas in mid-August, with the goal of becoming an official electricity retailer, according to a Thursday report.

Texas Monthly first reported the news of Tesla's application to the state's Public Utility Commission for a new subsidiary to be known as Tesla Energy Ventures. The new branch from Elon Musk's company reportedly seeks to sell electricity directly to customers.

Tesla also informed the state's grid operator of plans to build two backup batteries capable of storing hundreds of megawatts of energy to serve wholesale power companies.

Tesla has built several other energy storage systems before. The company has systems near Los Angeles, with another under construction in California's Monterey, as well as two in Australia.

The plan in Texas differs from those other systems because Tesla hasn't been a retail electricity provider in those locations. The other batteries were built to help other companies generate, store and consume energy.

Work on building one massive backup battery in Texas is reportedly underway. That system is near Houston, in the town of Angleton, and once completed, it will be capable of storing more than 100 megawatts of energy. The battery is already registered with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, which oversees power to more than 26 million customers.

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Tesla is looking to enter the power market in Texas, according to a new report. Above, CEO Elon Musk is seen on the red carpet of the Axel Springer Award ceremony on December 1, 2020, in Berlin. Britta Pedersen/Pool/Getty Images

Tesla also informed the Texas grid operator of plans to build a 250-megawatt battery near Austin. The battery would be near the company's Gigafactory, which is being constructed and will eventually build its Cybertrucks and Model Y SUVs.

Musk could be seizing on an opportunity in the Texas power market following February's freak winter storm in the state, which left many customers without power for days. Electrek, a website that covers electric transportation and sustainable-energy news, reported that five electricity retailers have left the Texas energy market since that storm.

At the end of 2020, Musk announced that he had relocated to Texas from California. In addition to the Gigafactory and the newly revealed Tesla Energy Ventures, Musk's SpaceX builds and conducts test flights of its Starship test vehicles from a facility in Boca Chica, Texas.

In other Tesla news, the company announced last week it will develop a humanoid robot prototype called the Tesla Bot. Musk announced the project at Tesla's Artificial Intelligence Day on August 19. According to the billionaire entrepreneur, the prototype AI robot will be ready at some point in 2022.

Newsweek contacted Tesla for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.