Phase one of Tesla VPP switches on

The first 100 Housing SA homes have had solar panels and Tesla Powerwall batteries installed as part of the Tesla Virtual Power Plant (VPP) project.

The $800 million project, announced in February by Tesla CEO Elon Musk and former SA Premier Jay Weatherill, will see solar panels and batteries installed on 50,000 homes.

The 250MW/650MWh project involves installing 5kw of rooftop solar and a Tesla Powerwall 2 unit on 50,000 low-income and social housing units across the state over the next four years.

The VPP is expected to deliver energy bill savings of up to 30 per cent for thousands of low-income households across South Australia when fully installed.

Phase one of the project has already shown that distributed Powerwall technology can help increase the supply of energy during peak demand periods.

This technology, alongside large-scale storage, increases the reliability and reduces prices in the South Australian electricity markets, and when paired with solar and wind will generate clean renewable energy.

Following the successful implementation of phase one, phase two will involve the installation of home energy systems on a further 1000 Housing SA homes before July 2019, thanks to a $30 million loan from the South Australian Government.

Minister for Energy Dan van Holst Pellekaan said he was pleased with the initial feedback from the project.

“This program is already delivering participating South Australians significantly reduced electricity bills,” Mr van Holst Pellekaan said.

“The Marshall Government has always highlighted the critical need for more storage to increase security and lower expensive peak costs.

“The final rollout phase (phase three) is subject to the success of the trials, the financing of the program by the private sector, and the satisfaction of both Tesla and the government in the final program design.

“In addition to this program, we will also be announcing details of our $100 million Household Storage Subsidy Scheme to deliver 40,000 more home batteries in the coming months.”