SA creates Australia's largest virtual power plant
Tesla technology driving down energy bills
A Tesla-powered and operated virtual power plant is being rolled out in South Australia, with 3,000 home energy systems to be installed across social housing. Housing SA tenants signing up for a special low electricity tariff have 5 kW in rooftop solar and a 13.5 kWh battery storage system installed at their home at no cost to them.
Tenants are often locked out of the clean energy market because they are unable to install rooftop solar systems on rental properties. The SA VPP is delivering an innovative clean energy solution to Housing SA tenants, drawing on proven and cost-effective technologies. We see VPPs as an increasingly important element of Australia’s low emissions electricity system of the future, supporting the increased integration of our low-cost renewable energy into the grid.Ian LearmonthCEO, CEFC
The CEFC has invested up to $30 million to support Phase 3 of South Australia’s virtual power plant (VPP). The program is also supported by an $8.2 million grant from ARENA, an $18 million equity contribution from VPP operator Tesla, and $10 million from the South Australian Government’s Grid Scale Storage Fund.
The Tesla SA VPP operates as part of a national VPP trial involving 1,000 homes. With the additional 3,000 homes, the extended SA VPP will be able to generate an estimated 20 MW in solar energy, with 54 MWh of combined battery storage.
The solar plus battery storage systems will be able to generate about 80 per cent of a tenant’s annual electricity requirements from renewable energy, drawing from the energy generated and stored onsite, and reducing their reliance on the grid.
Excess energy will be available for sale to the National Electricity Market, creating an additional revenue stream for the SA VPP, while also providing wholesale energy and ancillary services to support a low emissions grid. The goal is to drive down energy bills while delivering Australia’s largest VPP.