The prospects for Tesla’s proposed 250MW “virtual power plant” in South Australia look significantly brighter after the success of its first trial and an enthusiastic response from the South Australia government.
So far, some 100 Housing SA homes have received their 5kW of rooftop solar and the 13.5kWh Tesla Powerwall batteries, with another 1,000 homes to receive solar and battery storage under an agreement locked in by the previous state Labor government.
The original plan was to install a total of 50,000 Housing SA and low-income homes with solar and storage, slashing bills for those homes by around 30 per cent and creating a 250MW “virtual power plant” that could be used to boost security and reliability on the state’s grid.
The fate of the third phase – which will rely on private finance, and the emergence of another retailer – was clouded when the Liberal state government won the state election in March, and said then it would favour its own proposal of giving subsidies in the form of grants for battery storage to 40,000 homes.
An announcement on the $100 million grants for 40,000 homes is expected in coming months, but it now seems clear that the new government is interested in doing both – a result that would see at least 90,000 subsidised and supported battery storage installations across the state.
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