Having started the SA VPP program in 2018, South Australia and Tesla are expanding the same to include 3,000 more Housing SA properties into the fold with an eventual target to reach 50,000 homes. (Photo Credit: Tesla/Twitter)
- South Australia is expanding its SA VPP initiative with Tesla with AUD 60.6 million expansion
- Phase 3 will see 20 MW of rooftop solar energy and 54 MWh of combined battery storage capacity coming up a single power plant
- It will be expanded to 3,000 more homes taking the number of total beneficiaries to 41,00 Housing SA properties
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The South Australian (SA) government has decided to expand its Virtual Power Plant (VPP) program to include 3,000 more homes to benefit from solar and storage systems. The South Australia’s Virtual Power Plant (SA VPP) will get AUD 60.6 million to expand the scheme to a total of 4,100 Housing SA properties.
The state government said the expansion will also improve the grid. It is working with Tesla to identify Housing SA properties where phase 3 can be rolled out. Beneficiaries of the program will continue to pay for all the electricity they use from solar, batteries or the grid but at a lower rate, which the government claims is 22% cheaper than the standard electricity price.
Local off-grid solar and storage news portal One Step Off the Grid said under phase 3, some 20 MW of rooftop solar energy and 54 MWh of combined battery storage will be deployed to act as a single power plant. Excess power can be sent to the grid to support grid stability.
For this expansion, the state government is pooling in AUD 10 million, Tesla AUD 18 million, Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) AUD 8.2 million and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) offering AUD 30 million loan.
“This is the largest per capita roll out of home batteries in the world. In combination with Home Battery Scheme and free batteries for bushfire victims, this takes the number of home batteries already installed and committed in SA to over 20,000,” said State Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan. “Having rooftop PV and household batteries linked through a Virtual Power Plant creates the equivalent of a grid-scale battery in our suburbs and towns, which will complement the four other grid-scale batteries already operating in South Australia.”
The project originated in 2018 starting with 1,100 housing properties in the state fitted with solar PV and Tesla’s Powerwall home battery systems in a trial phase (see World’s Largest Virtual Power Plant Planned). After the trial phase completed in 2019, Tesla launched Tesla Energy Plan for private households to allow them to retail their electricity by enrolling their Powerwall battery systems under the SA VPP.
Expansion by 3,000 homes forms phase 3 of the SA VPP with an eventual target of connecting up to 50,000 homes in the state.