Tesla launches Phase 4 of South Australia’s VPP

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

South Australia’s nation-leading Tesla virtual power plant, which provides cheaper electricity to more than 4000 public housing tenants, is about to get bigger.

Tesla is launching Phase 4 of South Australia’s Virtual Power Plant (SAVPP), which will enable more South Australians on low incomes to share in the benefits of renewable energy.

An additional 3000 South Australian households will benefit from low-cost electricity and the comfort of battery back-up. For the first time, the project will also include households within the community housing sector.

Related article: Tesla expands virtual power plant to new regions

The $33 million expansion, funded entirely by Tesla, will provide help 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.

South Australian Premier Tom Koutsantonis said, “This is a prime example of the great work that can be achieved when industry and government work together. We’ve been proud to partner with Tesla on this project since inception, supported by seed funding from the State Government’s Renewable Technology Fund.

“It is incredible to see South Australia’s Virtual Power Plant continue to evolve, helping solve some of our most complex technical challenges in transitioning to a grid powered by renewable energy while proving its commercial viability as an investment-grade project.

“The South Australian Government looks forward to our continued relationship with Tesla on this and other exciting initiatives. Projects such as this allow South Australians in public and community housing to benefit from low-cost renewable energy, and is yet another example of this state leading the world in designing energy-smart homes and the smart grid of the future.”

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.

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.

Related article: Solar Connect VPP trial launches in Alice Springs

Murray Bridge resident Malcolm said: “I’ve saved $520 since I joined South Australia’s Virtual Power Plant in April last year and I’m happy that if there’s a blackout it keeps my lights on and helps those around me too.”

Yvon from Berri said: “I joined South Australia’s Virtual Power Plant to save money and avoid blackouts. My monthly power bills are much less now and I’ve continued to have power when there were blackouts in my area. I’m very happy with the results.”

For further information on South Australia’s Virtual Power Plant go to South Australia’s Virtual Power Plant.

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