"Billionaire Elon Musk's Tesla Motors Inc. is expected to announce next week that it will expand into a new business offering battery-based energy storage for residential and commercial customers," The Los Angeles Times reports.
"The electric car company has started to brief environmental groups and analysts on its plans. Retailing giant Wal-Mart Stores Inc. confirmed that it is participating in the test programs and expects to purchase more Tesla battery systems."
"Storing electricity efficiently, inexpensively and safely is a problem that has vexed the power industry since electricity was first harnessed. But such storage has huge implications for bolstering the national electricity grid and reducing pollution from power generation."
"Tesla's strategy is designed to leverage a planned $5-billion investment by the car company, battery cell manufacturer Panasonic and other partners in a massive lithium-ion battery 'gigafactory' under construction near Reno. Musk has said the factory will slash the cost of producing batteries about 30%."