Bluebonnet among nation’s first utilities to test Tesla battery device
Tesla backup switch

The Tesla backup switch automatically switches between renewable electricity and Bluebonnet-distributed electricity. Illustration of components from

The Tesla backup switch — designed to simplify installation of the company’s Powerwall solar battery storage system — was tested by Bluebonnet Electric Cooperative in 2021.

Bluebonnet reviewed the device for use in conjunction with Bluebonnet meters. It switches automatically between using stored renewable electricity and Bluebonnet-distributed electricity. Bluebonnet approved the backup switch for use on its system last year.

The use of the backup switch cuts Powerwall installation time from 10 hours to about one hour by avoiding the need to extensively rewire the connection from a home's breaker panel, according to Tesla’s website. Since October 2021, every Tesla Powerwall whole-home backup system (which costs $11,500 before installation) comes with a Tesla backup switch.

The switch also provides greater safety to Bluebonnet’s line workers. If a power outage is detected, the switch automatically disconnects the battery-stored electricity from Bluebonnet’s lines. That prevents the stored power from being pushed back onto the lines, keeping line workers who are restoring power safe.

Licensed electric battery storage installers can find specifications for installing Tesla backup switches here.