Tesla is helping to construct a 250MW virtual power station in South Australia
In December, Tesla delivered on its promise to install the world’s largest battery in South Australia to solve energy supply woes in the region.
And now the company is going one step further by helping to build a virtual power station in the region – if you’ve not heard the term ‘virtual power station’ before, it’s got nothing to do with VR, but instead describes power stations that pull energy from a number of different sources. In this case, those different sources will be solar panels on 50,000 homes in the State of South Australia.
Premier of South Australia, Jay Weatherill, tweeted on Sunday:
“We’re delivering the world’s largest Virtual Power Plant.”
The video in Weatherill’s tweet explains how each home will have its own solar panel and battery system. The battery, which is manufactured by Tesla, stores energy for when the household needs it – and the clever bit is that any surplus energy generated by the panels can then be used by the ‘virtual power station’ to supply energy to the rest of the grid.
The virtual power station is predicted to meet 20% of the state’s energy requirements, equivalent to more than 2.5x more energy than Tesla’s battery array supplies.
Participating households don’t need to pay anything to have the equipment installed, and will benefit from a 30% saving on their energy bills, according to the State Government website.
Although the scheme is initially only being rolled out to 1100 Housing Trust properties, the government says it hopes to roll it out to 50,000 homes within four years. The project is being funded by a 2 million AUD (approx £1.1m) grant and a 30 million AUD (approx £16.9m) loan from the Renewable Technology Fund.