Is Tesla moving into electricity retailing in Australia?

tesla solar and battery (installations)
The Tesla Powerwall (Image: Tesla)

Tesla has applied with the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) to become a ‘Market Customer’ in the National Electricity Market (NEM) in a move that likely signals its intention to launch its Tesla Electric service in Australia.

Tesla Electric was launched in 2022 following the company’s success with its virtual power plants (VPPs). Tesla Electric purchases an on-sells electricity for Tesla Powerwall owners, providing relief against peak pricing.

Related article: Tesla launches Phase 4 of South Australia’s VPP

Tesla Electric is currently only available to Powerwall owners in Texas, but the company has plans to expand its products through this new division, according to Electrek.

Earlier this year Tesla launched Phase 4 of South Australia’s Virtual Power Plant (SAVPP), enabling an additional 3000 South Australian households to benefit from low-cost electricity and battery back-up.

The $33 million expansion, funded entirely by Tesla, helps thousands of low-income households—that had previously missed out due to their homes being unsuitable for rooftop solar—by offering a battery-only option.

As part of hosting SAVPP solar panels or batteries on their homes, public and community housing tenants get access to the cheapest retail electricity price in the state, currently 23% below the Default Market Offer. This represents a $423 yearly saving for a typical household, according to electricity provider Energy Locals.

Related article: Tesla research shows new battery could last 100 years

The Virtual Power Plant also benefits all South Australians by providing important grid services that have previously only been provided by centralised, more traditional equipment.

Under the project, 4100 households have already had solar and Tesla Powerwall systems installed—the next phase will bring the number up to over 7000.

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