Tesla Is Paying Homeowners To Run A Virtual Power Plant In California Together
By Mikelle Leow, 27 Jun 2022
Image via Tesla
The largest Tesla battery could actually exist across several homes. The automaker is now inviting Powerwall owners to unite and help launch a virtual power plant so as to temper California’s frequent blackouts.
Debuting in conjunction with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Tesla’s virtual power plant in California will even compensate homeowners for supporting the grid. The program was piloted last year, but users only sublet their energy as volunteers.
Participants will now earn US$2 per kilowatt-hour contributed to the distributed battery. According to the company, some 50,000 Powerwalls are eligible for this public service, which could be incredibly useful to prevent outages in the state, or give it a reboot during emergencies.
Image via Tesla
A fully-charged unit with 20% backup reserve and 3kWh of energy, for instance, could give out 7.8kWh to the network during event hours, adding up to US$15.60 of compensation. Meanwhile, a fully-charged two-Powerwall system with a backup reserve of 40% and 5 kWh of output would deliver 11.2 kWh during times of emergency, earning the owner US$22.40
Powerwall owners signed up to the program will receive push notifications when a deployment is being scheduled, as well as after the event. Their home battery could then prioritize charging to gain enough juice for the discharge.
The total amount of energy generated by the Powerwalls will be calculated by PG&E at the end of the year, and Tesla will issue the payments before the end of March 2023.
You can find out more about the virtual power plant program here.
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