Tesla could become an energy provider in Texas, reports say

The move could receive approval in November of this year

FILE - In this March 14, 2019, file photo, Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks before unveiling the Model Y at the company's design studio in Hawthorne, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
FILE - In this March 14, 2019, file photo, Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks before unveiling the Model Y at the company's design studio in Hawthorne, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File) (Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is looking to strengthen his grip on Texas with another major move. Only this time, it involves the state’s power grid.

According to reports, the company has filed an application with the Public Utility Commission of Texas to become an electricity provider in the state.

If approved in November of this year, Tesla Energy Ventures will sell electricity on the retail market.

Talks from Musk himself and the company are scarce on the power move, but the application includes “the start of a big battery build-out by Tesla in Angleton, Texas (near Houston), where it aims to connect a 100-megawatt energy storage system to the grid,” per Texas Monthly.

This isn’t the first time Tesla has constructed similar energy storage systems. However, this is the first time the company would serve as a retail electricity provider, according to a report from CNBC.

Some of its energy storage systems are located east of Los Angeles, Monterey, California and two others in Australia, CNBC reports.

Tesla had aimed to enter into the state’s power market earlier this year, until the devastating winter storm ripped through Texas in February, leaving thousands without power and essentials, and over 200 people dead.

Part of the fallout from the storm’s impact was blamed on a lack of preparation from state organizations, and a lack of communication with the public.

Texas lawmakers have since passed two new laws to improve the power grid, but its effectiveness remains to be seen. You can read more about these measures here.

If Tesla becomes an energy provider in the state, it’s unclear what impact it will have on the state’s power grid. Though, it will likely increase business with some of its already existing customers.

And, according to Texas Monthly, the move could personally benefit Musk.

“He could have the chance to drive a vehicle made in Texas by one of his companies and fill it with electricity sold by another of his companies, as he motors through Boca Chica—sorry, Starbase—to watch rockets made by one of his companies take off. At this rate, Tesla might want to rename itself Texla,” the article states.

If Tesla receives approval, the company also plans to use employees from its energy division to “drum up sales and provide customer service,” per CNBC.

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About the Author:

Cody King is a digital journalist for KSAT 12. She previously worked for WICS/WRSP 20 in Springfield, Illinois.