More than 3000 public houses will join South Australia’s (SA) latest Tesla renewable power project, delivering lower power bills, and improve the electricity grid across the state.
The new installations properties will bring the total to 4,100 houses involved in the scheme to become part of South Australia’s first virtual power plant (SA VPP), which Tesla said will eventually include 50,000 private and public houses.
Tesla expects the VPP expansion to create about 80 full-time equivalent jobs for licenced South Australian electricians during the project’s anticipated 18-month deployment and will include locally produced solar panels.
Each property will receive a 5 kW rooftop solar system and a 13.5 kWh Powerwall battery system at no cost to the tenant. The systems are expected to provide 80 percent of the property’s energy usage.
“Having rooftop PV and household batteries linked through a Virtual Power Plant creates the equivalent of a grid-scale battery in our suburbs and towns, which will complement the four other grid-scale batteries already operating in South Australia,” said van Holst Pellekaan.
The SA government has said that residents who are part of the VPP program will benefit from lower household electricity bills, as the project will be offering electricity rates 22 percent lower than the default market offer.
When those small amounts are gathered together, it can build up to become large amounts of energy that help the electricity grid in times of need. The capacity and strength of a VPP can even match, and exceed, the amount of power produced by a traditional power station.
The SA VPP has also had a $10 million investment from the South Australian Government’s Grid-Scale Storage Fund, $30 million debt finance from the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, and an $18 million equity contribution from Tesla.
The VPP is not the only collaboration between Tesla and the South Australian government.
The battery was recently enlarged in 2020 by 50 percent to 150MW to support the grid and provide better control over the electrical grid.