Australia to Launch World's Largest Virtual Power Plant

Tuesday, February 6, 2018 - 10:31

The South Australian government will build the world’s largest virtual power plant t by rolling out solar panels and Tesla batteries to at least 50,000 homes.

South Australia’s state premier Jay Weatherill announced a plan on Sunday to create a network of 50,000 home solar systems backed by Tesla Powerwall batteries, ahead of a state election in March, Reuters reports.

“We lead the world in renewable energy with the world’s largest battery, the world’s largest solar thermal plant and now the world’s largest virtual power plant,” he said in a televised interview from the state capital of Adelaide.

“We lead the world in renewable energy with the world’s largest battery, the world’s largest solar thermal plant and now the world’s largest virtual power plant,” he said in a televised interview from the state capital of Adelaide.

The project would begin with a trial on 1,100 public housing homes, the government said on its website.

The 5kW solar panel system and 13.5kWh Tesla Powerwall 2 batteries would be installed at no charge to participating households, but would be funded through the sale of electricity and by taxpayers through a A$2 million ($1.6-million) government grant and a A$30-million loan from the state-government-funded Renewable Technology Fund.

Supporters say the battery will help stabilize the grid after the state, which gets more than 40 percent of its electricity from wind energy, suffered a string of blackouts and soaring energy prices.

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