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South Australia partners with Tesla to build virtual power plant

EBR Staff Writer Published 05 February 2018

The Government of South Australia has partnered with Tesla to build which it claims to be the world’s largest ‘virtual power plant’ to help reduce energy bills.

The project involves installation of a network of solar and battery systems for at least 50,000 home across the state to work together forming a virtual power plant.

South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill said: “More renewable energy means cheaper power for all South Australians.

“We will use people’s homes as a way to generate energy for the South Australian grid, with participating households benefitting with significant savings in their energy bills.

“Our energy plan means that we are leading the world in renewable energy and now we are making it easier for more homes to become self-sufficient.”

As part of this plan, Tesla and the government have already begun a trial by installing 5kW solar panel systems and 13.5kWh Tesla Powerwall 2 batteries at 1,100 Housing SA properties at free of cost. It will be financed through electricity sales.

Upon completion of testing phase, systems are planned to be installed at an additional 24,000 Housing Trust properties. The similar deal is expected to be offered to at least 50,000 South Australian households in the next four years, the state government said.

According to Frontier Economics analysis, 250MW plant would lower energy bills by an estimated 30% for participating households.

The project, which is expected to offer increased generation and increased energy stability, will be backed by $2m grant from the government and $30m loan from the Renewable Technology Fund.

Image: The South Australia’s new project involves installation of solar and battery systems for 50,000 home across the state. Photo: courtesy of dan/FreeDigitalPhotos.net.