Case study: Solar + Tesla Powerwall in Cadiz, KY
Tesla Powerwall case study featuring solar energy, grid independence and resiliency:
Jan and Ken Culwell of Cadiz, Kentucky, now supply the majority of their home’s electricity from 34 solar panels and two Tesla Powerwalls.
LightWave Solar installed the Powerwall system in early June, and the couple has seen their electric bills plummet. A bill comparison of July 2019 versus July 2018 shows a 73% drop in grid consumption.
Tesla Powerwall provides backup power
The system reduces their 3,000 square foot home’s grid reliance on a daily and nightly basis, and it also provides backup power. During a grid outage, the system provides electricity to one 200-amp service panel, allowing the Culwells to power their kitchen, master bedroom and bathroom, washer/dryer, EV charger, and internet, among other items.
Last month, they experienced a brief grid outage, unbeknownst to them.
“The lights didn’t even flutter,” says Ken Culwell. “Our neighbor told us, so we checked our Tesla app and saw the grid failure and how our battery system took over automatically,” he says.
The Culwells went with Tesla Powerwalls since they provide industry-leading backup capabilities and can be easily monitored with the Tesla app which tracks home energy use, solar generation, battery status, backup history and grid consumption.
“We look at the Tesla app embarrassingly often,” jokes Jan Culwell. “We love it, and since I can see our electricity use in real time, I’ve started to change the way I use power to reduce our demand and save more,” she says.
The Tesla app shows real-time and historical energy usage, identifying the sources of a home’s electricity – solar, Powerwall or grid (see screenshot below on left). Tesla app also shows Powerwall status, charging or discharging, and level of charge (see screenshot below on right).
Making the decision to install solar + battery storage
Jan and Ken Culwell each thought solar was a good idea but assumed the other might not want to spend the money. When they finally discussed it, they realized they both wanted to power their home with clean, renewable solar power instead of using grid power.
Last August, the Culwells chose LightWave Solar to build a 10-kilowatt solar system on top of a ground canopy. Initially, the Culwells were selling their solar power to the local power company through TVA’s program, but several months later, the Culwells decided they wanted to use solar power in their home by adding battery storage which also replaced their generator.
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