Apple will reportedly use Tesla's batteries at its new California solar farm

Apple California Solar Farm
Apple California Solar Farm (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple announced that it is building a new solar farm in California.
  • A new report claims the site will make use of Tesla's Megapack batteries.

Apple announced yesterday that it is building a solar farm in California that will use batteries to store the energy generated. But what it didn't say was that it will be using Tesla's Megapack batteries as part of the project.

Reported by The Verge, the 240-megawatt-hour facility has been approved by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors, with 85 Tesla lithium-ion Megapacks used to store the energy that will ultimately power Apple's Cupertino HQ. Monterey County's planning chief confirmed the use of Tesla batteries in an email, the report says.

Tesla announced the Megapack batteries in 2019 and they've since been used around the world.

From Tesla's Megapack announcement.

Megapack significantly reduces the complexity of large-scale battery storage and provides an easy installation and connection process. Each Megapack comes from the factory fully-assembled with up to 3 megawatt hours (MWhs) of storage and 1.5 MW of inverter capacity, building on Powerpack's engineering with an AC interface and 60% increase in energy density to achieve significant cost and time savings compared to other battery systems and traditional fossil fuel power plants. Using Megapack, Tesla can deploy an emissions-free 250 MW, 1 GWh power plant in less than three months on a three-acre footprint – four times faster than a traditional fossil fuel power plant of that size. Megapack can also be DC-connected directly to solar, creating seamless renewable energy plants.

Tesla is often referred to as the Apple of electric cars, but the two companies do differ in many key ways. Not least the way their CEOs act on Twitter!

The Porsche Taycan is a big competitor to Tesla's Model S and even has something it doesn't – Apple Music! You can at least add a carplay-enabled audio receiver to your car if you want. You can't do that with a Tesla!

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.