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Tesla pairs up with SolarCity, will power off-grid homes as well as cars

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If you've ever dreamed of thumbing your nose at big energy and its expensive, polluting ways, then Tesla and a solar panel leasing company called SolarCity might be taking you a baby-step closer to reality. Although recognized mostly for its EVs, Tesla reckons it knows enough about batteries to solve a key problem in the solar energy chain -- namely the storage of power for use when the sun, power grid, or both go offline. The battery design, consisting of many laptop-style lithium ion batteries stacked together, was chosen after two years of research and a $1.8 million energy grant. The two companies are now waiting for tax credits from the Fed and California before rolling out the tech. And being kissing cousins -- with Elon Musk as both Chairman of SolarCity and CEO of Tesla -- certainly can't hurt.

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