Is Tesla looking to enter the UK utility market?

Autobidder user interface.

US-based technology firm Tesla has applied for a licence to generate electricity in the UK, although the exact reason hasn’t been made clear in Tesla Motor Co’s application to the country’s Gas and Electricity Market Regulating Authority.

Whilst speculation is rife as to the tech giant’s intentions, a source close to the company told UK newspaper The Telegraph that Tesla may be looking to launch its Autobidder energy trading platform in Britain. The platform, which aggregates renewable energy generation by independent power producers (IPPs), and trades the electricity generated, has proven to be massively successful at the 100MW Tesla-built Hornsdale Power Reserve in Melbourne, Australia – known as the world’s largest battery.

The site, owned by renewables developer Neoen, enjoyed a 56% increase in revenues thanks to a jump in frequency and ancillary services according to the company’s 2019 annual financial report.

Autobidder claims that it’s service, which currently facilitates the sale of electricity from the Australian mega-battery to the UK market, states on its website that it has “added competition to drive down energy prices” – a prospect that may provide a new challenge to the UK’s Big Six energy suppliers, and see Tesla, given its size, interests in solar, energy storage, and electric transportation, take one step closer to becoming a full-circle energy business built on technologies that will drive the energy transition.

This article was first published by Smart Energy International and was reprinted with permission.

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Philip Gordon is based in Clarion Energy's Cape Town office as a Content Producer for the Smart Energy International and Power Engineering International media titles. Phil's interests include the energy transition, smart grid technologies, smart city technologies, and e-mobility in all its forms. His media experience spans B2B and consumer print, commercial copywriting, and radio over the past 19 years.

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