The government in Australia wants to develop the world’s largest virtual power plant that will work by supplying excess energy from houses to the grid. Tesla, the company that has won the contract, will supply solar panel and batteries to households that sign-up for the program.
Installation has already began at 1,100 homes as part of an initial test phase. Excess energy generated from these houses, will be stored in the batteries. The fully automatic Tesla system’s software, will then offload the excess energy to a centrally monitored grid.
The system, the Australian government says, will provide 20 percent of the state’s average daily energy requirements and for the participating households, electricity costs will be cut by upto 30 percent.
Tesla in a release said, when completed, the virtual power facility could provide as much capacity as a large gas turbine or coal power plant. “Powerwall, the battery cells used as part of the system, can detect an outage, disconnect from the grid, and automatically restore power to your home in a fraction of a second.”
The program will be funded via a AU$2 million grant ($1.59 million USD), and a AU$30 million ($23.8 million USD) loan from a state-funded technology fund. The project has a total value of AU$800 million ($634 million USD), which will also be funded by investors.
When fully operational, some 50,000 households will be fitted with Tesla solar panels and batteries that will combine together create the 250 MW virtual power plant.
News source – arstechnica