Tesla Megapack Powers Hawaii's Renewable Revolution: The Kapolei Energy Storage Breakthrough

By Kevin Armstrong
The Kapolei Energy Storage facility on Oahu
The Kapolei Energy Storage facility on Oahu

Plus Power has unveiled the Kapolei Energy Storage (KES) facility in Oahu, Hawaii. This project, powered by Tesla's innovative Megapack 2 XL batteries, marks a critical step in Hawaii's transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources such as solar and wind.

Central to this achievement are 158 Tesla Megapack batteries. These massive units, each akin to a shipping container, cumulatively deliver 185 megawatts of power capacity and 565 megawatt-hours of electricity. This deployment is a testament to Tesla's technological prowess and a significant milestone in energy storage and grid management.

Tesla's Expanding Role in Sustainable Energy

For Tesla enthusiasts, the KES project demonstrates how Tesla's technology is revolutionizing the energy sector, extending beyond electric vehicles to a comprehensive approach to sustainable energy. Tesla's Megapack, also used by Apple, is not just a battery; it's a key component in the global transition to sustainable energy.

Mike Snyder from Tesla highlights the project's uniqueness: it's the first time a standalone battery site has provided grid-forming services at this scale. This underscores Tesla's Megapack inverters' role in transforming energy storage and grid management.

Balancing the Grid

Brandon Keefe, Executive Chairman of Plus Power, emphasizes the project's groundbreaking nature. This initiative represents the first time a major utility has used a battery system to balance a power grid, providing fast frequency response, synthetic inertia, and black start capabilities. This pioneering use of battery systems like Tesla's Megapack is critical for grid stability and renewable integration.

Strategically located near Honolulu, KES is crucial for Hawaii's isolated grid, where managing the fluctuations of renewable energy sources is essential. The facility stands out for its rapid response capability, reacting in just 250 milliseconds, significantly quicker than traditional combustion-powered plants.

Maximizing Renewable Energy Usage

One of the key challenges in Hawaii has been managing the surplus solar and wind power to maintain grid balance. KES is expected to reduce the curtailment of renewable energy by 69% over the next five years and enable a 10% increase in new utility-scale renewables.

Besides enhancing grid stability and renewable energy integration, KES is predicted to bring economic benefits. Hawaiian Electric's filing suggests modest reductions in electric bills, reflecting the broader economic advantages of transitioning to renewable energy.

KES is technically impressive, with 135 MW / 540 MWh of capacity and energy, 50 MW / 25 MWh of additional 'fast frequency response,' and features like 'virtual inertia' and 'black start' capabilities. These elements are crucial for smooth power supply and quick recovery in blackout scenarios.

The Kapolei Energy Storage facility, powered by Tesla's Megapack, is a beacon for renewable energy adoption worldwide. It exemplifies how innovative battery storage can revolutionize energy grids, paving the way for a cleaner, more sustainable future.

Tesla Reduces Price of FSD Subscription to $99 Per Month [Subscriptions Now Available in Canada Too!]

By Not a Tesla App Staff

Tesla just dropped its FSD subscription pricing dramatically in the U.S., lowering the cost from $199 to $99 per month. However, not everyone is thrilled with the new pricing.

For owners who bought the Enhanced Autopilot package for $6,000 USD, Tesla offered a lower-priced FSD subscription of $99, instead of $199. However, with this new FSD price reduction, EAP owners are no longer receiving a discount.

FSD Subscription Expansion

Currently, the FSD subscription is only available in the U.S., but plans for expansion are underway. Tesla's Rohan Patel recently announced that the subscription will soon be available in Canada, alongside the introduction of an annual plan for Premium Connectivity. 

This expansion into the Canadian market is anticipated to follow a similar pricing strategy, adjusted for the currency exchange rate, possibly setting the cost at approximately $140 CAD per month.

Update: Tesla has just announced that FSD subscriptions are now available in Canada! What’s even more surprising is the unexpectedly low subscription price of $99 CAD. Tesla took to X to announce the availability in Canada but unfortunately didn’t reveal any additional information regarding the subscriptions.

Is Buying FSD Still Worth It?

Despite the lowered subscription price, the outright purchase price for FSD remains steep at $12,000. This price point equates to subscribing to the service for over 10 years. Given that the average length of car ownership in the U.S. is about 8 years, this makes the current price of buying FSD unattractive to most. The saving grace of buying FSD is that you know what you're paying for the life of the vehicle and can avoid any potential subscription price increases.

Temporary Reduction or Long-term Strategy?

Tesla has not confirmed whether the price reduction is a temporary promotional tactic or a permanent adjustment. The timing coincides with Tesla's release of FSD v12 and its trial offer, suggesting that the company is keen on encouraging more drivers to experience FSD. This approach not only boosts user engagement but also accelerates the volume of data Tesla can collect to improve the system.

FSD With Referral Credits

Although Tesla hasn't adjusted the price of buying FSD, it is tweaking its referral program to accommodate the new price. Three months of FSD are now available through Tesla's referral program for 6,000 credits, reduced from the previous 12,000 credits.

Tesla's reduction in FSD in the U.S. and its planned expansion into Canada reflect a strategic initiative to make FSD more accessible and financially attractive to a broader audience. There's no doubt this change will increase the number of FSD subscriptions, but it'll be interesting to see how much. To break even, Tesla would need to double the number of subscriptions, but they likely have their eyes set much higher.

If you currently subscribe to FSD, Tesla has automatically reduced future payments to the lower $99 price point.

Tesla Cybertruck to Receive Additional Features in Upcoming Update

By Not a Tesla App Staff

Tesla frequently introduces new models or trim levels before all the software features are available. This situation also applies to the Cybertruck, where several features are still in development.

In the 2024.8 update, Tesla added a handful of features to help the Cybertruck catch up in the software department, adding features such as Reset Tire Mileage, Rear Passenger Headphones, Auto Wipers and others. Tesla also added a Cybertruck exclusive feature that sets off the truck's alarm if the trailer is unhitched from the vehicle.

However, Tesla continues to improve Cybertruck's software. The company is planning an upcoming update that will let the truck charge faster and add Tesla's convenient cabin overheat protection feature.

According to Tesla's SVP of powertrain and energy, Drew Baglino, the Cybertruck's charging speed is about to be upgraded. This software update, slated for release later this quarter, is set to substantially improve the Cybertruck's charging curve and unlock faster charging times for owners. Baglino said the update will "let the Cybertruck get 154 miles of charge in just 15 minutes." That's a 20% increase over the truck's current 128 miles in 15 minutes.

Early reports on the Cybertruck's 4680 cells revealed a somewhat disappointing charging curve. The truck's charging speed would start at about 250kW, then drop off to about 150kW at ~40%. It would then level off at 75-80kW for the remainder of the charge.

It seems Tesla was being careful with the Cybertruck's new battery pack, but now, the company is ready to unlock additional throughput.

This fits Tesla's usual approach. The company likes to start conservatively and then improve its vehicles over time.

Cabin Overheat Protection

Another feature that's set to arrive on the Cybertruck is Cabin Overheat Protection (COP), according to the Cybertruck's program manager. This feature which keeps the cabin from overheating has been available in other models for several years, but it has yet to be made available for the Cybertruck.

In 2022, Tesla added the ability to customize the temperature at which COP would turn on. Users can now choose COP to activate at 90, 95 or 100º Fahrenheit. The Cybertruck's COP is expected to match the same features available in other models.

Given that Tesla's SVP and program manager have officially commented on these upcoming features, it may not be long before we see them available in an upcoming update.

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Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

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Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.


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