Elon Musk Tesla’s CEO struck a deal with South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill to install panels and batteries on 50,000 homes to function as giant interconnected power plants. Liberal Leader Steven Marshal almost scrapped the plan to create a new plan and to offer discounts on the battery storage for 40,000 homes.  

In the end, Minister Dan Van Holst Pellekaan announced at the Australian Energy Conference that the new government would proceed with the plan on behalf of both parties. He told Australia’s ABC News, “It’s very important to be clear about this-we are honoring the existing commitments around the Tesla virtual power plant (VPP).”  

Van Holst Pellekaan met with Tesla as soon as he was sworn in and he added that he wants South Australia to become the world leader in home battery installation.  

The state wants to eventually emerge with the 100,000 household batteries which are about one in ten homes.  

“We’ll show the world how the mass adoption of home batteries can and will work. This is a complicated task-I don’t think that anyone has attempted to do what we’re about to do at this scale relative to population and market size,” he said.  

The virtual plant is going to involve a Powerwall and a 5-kilowatt solar system to be able to install 50,000 low-income and different social units across South Australia for the upcoming four years and is expected to cost almost 30 percent on their power bills.  

Tesla has been one of the lead forces in the global transition to electric vehicles, and it doesn’t look like there isn’t anything that’s going to stop the company especially since it has international support in it’s effort to a cleaner future.  

As the world awaits on the Model 3 EV to be available the company is under a lot of pressure to increase its roll-out of supercharger technology, which can provide half a charge in only 30 minutes. While simultaneously Tesla customers await for a Tesla that is comfortable for long distance driving.  

Weatherill said of the government’s plans to help build and deliver the system, “My government has already delivered the world’s biggest battery, now we will deliver the world’s largest virtual power plant… “We will use people’s homes as a way to generate energy for the South Australian grid, with participating households benefiting with significant savings in their energy bills.”  

Tesla told AFP that the virtual plant would have 650-megawatt hours of battery storage and 250 megawatts of solar energy. The companies statement included, “At key moments, the virtual power plant could provide as much capacity as a large gas turbine or coal power plant.”  

At the Australian Energy Conference, Van Holst Pellekaan said that the trial phase is going to install home energy systems for 1,100 public housing properties is currently proceeding. 

Sources:  

https://www.ecowatch.com/tesla-australia-power-plant-2572035489.html 

https://reneweconomy.com.au/tesla-plans-18-new-ev-supercharger-stations-australia-major-global-roll-93768/ 

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