Tesla will be unable to sell electricity in the United States unless it makes a deal with the federal government, it was announced Thursday.
Tesla’s deal with a consortium of utilities, including Duke Energy, would require the company to obtain a license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to sell the power produced by its batteries, which it would then sell through a power-purchase agreement.
“Tesla will no more be able sell power to the United State of America,” Tesla said in a statement, which noted that it will need to apply for an exemption from the Renewable Energy Production Act of 2014 to be able do so.
“The federal government will be required to approve such a license.”
Under the agreement, Tesla would sell a percentage of the electricity generated by the batteries to Duke Energy for $10 per megawatt hour, which the company said would be equivalent to about 20 percent of its capacity.
Duke Energy would then receive the rest of the revenue, and the two companies would be able “to work together to meet the electricity demand for Tesla’s customers in the future,” the company added.
Tesla said the agreement “will help us deliver on our commitment to consumers and reduce our reliance on imported energy and to the environment.”
Duke Energy declined to comment on the announcement.
The move to eliminate the import tax on Tesla’s electricity is a major win for the electric vehicle maker.
The tax, which was passed by the House in 2013, had been a major driver of Tesla’s losses and has been a key barrier for Tesla to gain a competitive advantage.
The decision to stop the importation of Tesla batteries from China also had the potential to reduce the amount of electricity that could be exported from the U.S. to China.
But it is unlikely that the decision to end the import taxes will have a significant impact on Tesla, which has said it is in discussions with Chinese regulators about the tax.
Tesla currently sells its energy products in the U, Europe and Japan, and it has been building an electric vehicle factory in the Netherlands.