Michael Dell's Son Plans To Beat Texas Blackouts With A $300M Home Battery Startup That Aims To Slay Tesla's Powerwall Price

Zinger Key Points
  • Base Power aims to provide a more reliable and potentially cheaper alternative to the existing system.
  • It has secured $68 million in funding from investors like Thrive Capital and Valor Equity Partners.

Texas, prone to frequent power outages due to grid strain, is seeing a new player in the home energy storage market: Base Power

Founded in Austin last year by Zach Dell, son of PC billionaire Michael Dell, and Justin Lopas, the company aims to provide a more reliable and potentially cheaper alternative to the existing system.

The Problem & The Solution: Dell believes the current Texas grid is outdated and unreliable, according to a Bloomberg report, leading to blackouts and volatile energy prices. 

Base Power proposes installing battery storage systems in customers’ homes for $2,000, significantly lower than Tesla‘s Powerwall ($8,400). Their model involves creating a network of these batteries to manage energy use across the system.

See Also: Best Green Energy Stocks

The Technology & Funding: Base Power plans to use software to monitor energy prices, charging batteries when electricity is cheap and using them during peak hours. 

The company has secured $68 million in funding from investors like Thrive Capital (founded by Jared Kushner‘s brother, Josh Kushner) and Valor Equity Partners. Despite a small team of 20, they aim to become a major player in the energy sector.

Challenges & Opportunities: Switching energy providers in Texas is complex due to some regulatory caveats. However, Base Power believes its network can offer stability to grids nationwide.

The company has recruited talent from Anduril (a defense startup whose manufacturing unit was formerly headed by Lopas) with expertise in energy management and user interfaces, as well as Elon Musk‘s Tesla and SpaceX. Investors reportedly value the company at $300 million.

Standing Out From Tesla Electric: Tesla also offers solar energy solutions (Tesla Electric) but only to Powerwall owners in Texas. This allows customers to create “virtual power plants” generating their own electricity. However, Base Power’s lower price point could be a game-changer.

Texas’ Unique Energy Landscape: Texas has its own power grid, separate from the Eastern and Western interconnects of the United States. This independence allows the Lone Star state to leverage resources like oil, wind, and solar. However, during extreme weather events, the grid struggles to meet demand, resulting in outages.

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Posted In: NewsTop StoriesStartupsTechMediaAndurilBase PowerJustin LopasMichael DellPowerwallStories That MattertexasZach Dell
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