Case Study:

The Gilberts’ Solar Energy System and Tesla Powerwall


Nashville, TN

Solar Size


Equipment Installed

REC solar panels & Tesla Powerwalls

Storage Capability

27kWh - backs up home's 200amp service

“After the tornado, my neighbors came to our house to charge their phones and other devices until grid power was restored.” – Brian Gilbert

Solar panels on the Gilbert home in Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville’s First Solar Power + Tesla Powerwall System

In 2019, LightWave Solar installed the first solar + Tesla Powerwall battery system in Nashville for the Gilbert family. This system reduces their reliance on the grid, powering about 75% of the home’s total electricity use.

Protection from Power Grid Outages

LightWave’s solar + Tesla Powerwall battery system also provides power during grid outages. A 2-day-long power outage hit the Gilbert’s area in 2020 due to a large tornado, and many homes were impacted. However, the Gilbert family’s home had a much needed source of backup power.

“My neighbor took a direct hit, and the home was devastated — my house was basically untouched, fortunately,” Brian Gilbert said. “Until grid power was restored, my neighbors came to our house to charge their phones and other devices,” he explained.

Learn more about how a solar energy system + Tesla Powerwalls can protect your home from power grid outages by watching our webinar.

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The Gilbert family’s two Tesla Powerwalls stacked in the garage. Their system helps charge their Tesla car.

The Gilbert Family’s Solar Energy System

The Gilbert’s home features a 10-kilowatt solar-powered system and two Tesla Powerwall batteries. During grid outages, the Powerwalls automatically take over with barely a flicker of the lights. While Brian does need to monitor his energy consumption and battery charge status during outages, it is easy to do on Tesla’s mobile app.

“The day after the tornado hit, I realized we needed to reserve more power to keep us running overnight, so I adjusted my battery settings to reserve up to 20%,” Brain explained.

When the power grid is fully-functioning, they don’t need to monitor their battery level or their energy consumption — though sometimes, Brian chooses to just for fun.

“We have changed some of our energy habits to optimize the system,” he says. “For example, our electric car is the largest load, so we try to charge it when the sun is out, if possible,” he said.

Reliable Solar Energy All Year Long

In the summertime, the Gilberts will be able to stay cool if there’s another major power outage — their HVAC system is backed up using a soft starter, which greatly reduces startup current and allows the Powerwall battery to power the AC.

“I am really happy with my solar and battery system,” Brian said. “I am grateful that it was active after the tornado so we could help out our neighbors,” he added.

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Interested in a solar-powered home? The LightWave Solar team would love to help supply your home with cleaner electricity and protect you from power outages. Book a solar project consultation today and read more of our case studies to see what we can do for you!

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