Tesla is expanding its biggest virtual power plant — aka the one right here in Australia — as part of its new Tesla Energy Plan.
If you’ve ever spoken to a South Australian (see: me), you’d know that the state that self-describes as ‘heaps good’ hasn’t exactly had the best track record when it comes to power. Heck, back in September 2016 the entire state suffered a major statewide blackout that took days to fix.
Just a year after these major blackouts, Elon Musk personally asserted he would “work harder” with the Tesla team to solve Australia’s energy issues with the help of Tesla’s Big Battery (located at Neoen’s Hornsdale Wind Farm in Jamestown, SA) and a plan to install solar arrays and Powerwalls on as many as 50,000 South Australian homes.
And now, Musk is further delivering on his promise to solve Australia’s power problems with the announcement that the Tesla Energy Plan and Tesla Virtual Power Plant will be expanded into Victoria.
“Tesla’s Virtual Power Plant allows you to maximise your energy savings through flexible Time of Use rates. The unique smarts of Tesla’s world leading technology will monitor and manage your Powerwall, assessing usage patterns to help ensure your home is powered by the most efficient source. Reducing your energy bill and benefiting your community at the same time,” Tesla said in a statement.
Tesla Energy in Australia’s senior engineering manager, Josef Tadich, also expressed his excitement about the plan.
“Excited to launch the Tesla Energy Plan into my home state of Victoria today. The expansion of our Virtual Power Plant (VPP) from South Australia to Victoria allows customers with a Powerwall to participate in wholesale energy and frequency control markets, providing cheaper retail rates and supporting the power system when it’s needed most,” he said.
“This is how we increase from the 60% renewables penetration we hit yesterday here in the NEM, and accelerate the transition: integrating renewables and storage at transmission level; as well as coordinating residential PV, battery storage, and EV charging as active Distributed Energy Resources (DER).”
Although Tesla has already tested out the project in South Australia with some pretty successful results, the move to Victoria is a major one for the company. For context, the SA market caters to a population of 1.7 million people, compared to a whopping 6 million Victorians.
This obviously makes it a much more significant task, but it also means it should have a greater impact on Australia’s energy consumption and prices than we’ve seen in South Australia.
You can find out more about the Tesla Energy Plan and see if you’re eligible to join here.