Tesla is inviting its Energy customers living in California to join Tesla’s Virtual Power Plant (VPP) and help stabilize the grid. Virtual power plants aggregate the capacities of energy resources and enhance power generation along with trading or selling power on the electricity market. Back in 2020, our own Steve Hanley shared that Tesla was expanding into both solar microgrids and virtual power plants. Steve wrote about Tesla’s virtual power plant plan in the UK at the time. Less than a year later, Tesla is now setting one up in California.
Tesla noted that its Virtual Power Plant in California is in the beta stage and pointed out that the California grid operator predicted that there will be a continued need for Californians to support it through the end of this year. Tesla’s invite encourages its customers to help create the largest distributed battery system in the world while avoiding dependence on the least efficient fossil fuel power plants.
Once customers have opted in, Tesla will dispatch their Powerwalls when the grid needs support, without risking customers’ own energy security. Tesla listed several benefits of participation in its new Virtual Power Plant.
- Exporting Credits During Peak Periods. Customers don’t need to make any changes to their home energy usage behavior, and if they’re part of a net energy metering program, they could earn credit for their energy that is sent to the grid during events.
- Cleaning The Power Grid. When the grid is in critical need of additional electricity, the least efficient fossil-fueled- generators come online. With Tesla dispatching customers’ Powerwall during the critical need, this helps to reduce dependence on those generators and helps clean the grid.
- Stabilizing California’s Grid. By opting in, Tesla Energy customers will help California reduce or even avoid blackouts during severe emergencies. Powerwall can keep the lights on for all in the community.
- United as A Tesla Community. The Tesla community is pretty amazing, but this takes that level of community even higher. Tesla Energy customers will team up with other Powerwall owners who are helping Tesla to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. Customers will help build the largest distributed battery in the world — with over 50,000 Powerwalls.
- Energy Security. Powerwall customers will not lose any of their energy security. Instead, Powerwall will discharge during VPP events but will not discharge below your backup reserve. Customers can adjust their backup reserve to control how much their contribution to the VPP is.
Tesla noted that eligible Powerwall owners will be able to enroll in its Virtual Power Plant starting on July 22, 2021. Details on program eligibility will be announced soon.