Tesla hires SunEdison’s energy storage lead as the company is going bankrupt
SunEdison, the world’s largest renewable-energy developer, has been going through some serious financial troubles for a while now and could reportedly file for bankruptcy as soon as this week. Its stock (SUNE) lost 98% of its value over the past 12 months and people are starting to jump ship.
Through the troubles, Electrek has learned that Tesla hired a key member of SunEdison’s energy storage team.
Mohammad C. Bozchalui is an expert in grid solutions. He holds a MSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tehran and a Ph.D. in Power and Energy Systems from the University of Waterloo, according to his LinkedIn profile.
He wrote his Ph.D. thesis on novel optimization models to integrate residential energy hubs to a smart grid:
“This paper presents mathematical optimization models of residential energy hubs which can be readily incorporated into automated decision making technologies in Smart Grids, and can be solved efficiently in a real-time frame to optimally control all major residential energy loads, storage and production components while properly considering the customer preferences and comfort level.”
Until recently, Mohammad C. Bozchalui was leading business development, engineering, and technical-economic at SunEdison’s Energy Storage Center of Excellence. He had previously held the position of Principal Engineer of Advanced Solutions at the solar developer and he oversaw flow battery storage projects.
He now joins the “Grid Solutions” team at Tesla Energy. He describes his new role in his LinkedIn profile:
“Maximizing the value of energy storage solutions for behind-the-meter customers, microgrids, utilities, and grid operators.”
Tesla has been ramping up its energy storage efforts lately. SolarCity has recently selected Tesla’s Powerpack for its massive energy storage project on Kaua’i Island in Hawaii. As for its residential energy storage business with the Tesla Powerwall, the company started installations in the US with a ramp up planned for this summer. Powerwall installations have also started in Europe and Australia.
We also recently got a good look at the company’s Powerwall/Powerpack assembly line.
Tesla estimated that its energy storage business could grow to as much as $500 million in revenue this year. As Tesla Energy’s customer base transition from early adopters to the average homeowner and the total amount of deployed energy storage increases, it will become significantly more important to optimize the systems and make the economics work on every level, which appears to be Bozchalui’s field of expertise.