The South Australian Government will build what it says is the world’s largest virtual power plant by rolling out solar panels and Tesla batteries to at least 50,000 homes. Installation is planned over the next four years to create the 250-MW virtual power plant.
Beginning with a trial of 1100 Housing Trust properties, a 5-kW solar panel system and 13.5-kWh Tesla Powerwall 2 battery will be installed at no charge to the household and financed through the sale of electricity.
Following the trial, which has now commenced, systems are set to be installed at a further 24,000 Housing Trust properties, and then a similar deal offered to all South Australian households, with a plan for at least 50,000 households to participate over the next four years.
A registration of interest will be opened for members of the public who wish to participate in the program.
The Australian Government will release a market notice later this week for a retailer to deliver the program, with a preference of bringing more competition into the market.
Analysis by Frontier Economics shows the 250-MW plant is expected to lower energy bills for participating households by 30%.
Additionally, all South Australians will also benefit from the increased generation in the South Australian energy mix, with lower energy prices and increased energy stability.
The Government is assisting the rollout with a $2 million grant and a $30 million loan from the Renewable Technology Fund.