Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

World's Largest Virtual Power Plant Coming to Australia in Deal With Tesla

Renewable Energy
A home with a Powerwall 2 and solar panels. Tesla

South Australia—already home to the world's largest battery—will soon host the world's largest virtual solar plant under a landmark plan from Tesla CEO Elon Musk and the state government.

The plan involves installing a 5-kilowatt solar system and a Tesla Powerwall 2 battery on roughly 50,000 homes across the state over the next four years. The setup will be installed at no charge to the households and financed through the sale of electricity.


The entire system will function as an interconnected power plant all while cutting power bills for participants by an estimated 30 percent.

"My government has already delivered the world's biggest battery, now we will deliver the world's largest virtual power plant," South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said.

"We will use people's homes as a way to generate energy for the South Australian grid, with participating households benefiting with significant savings in their energy bills."

The trial phase, which has already commenced, will start with 1,100 public housing properties. After the trial period, another 24,000 public housing properties will receive the systems before opening up to other South Australian households.

Weatherill tweeted Sunday than 6,500 South Australian households have already signed up. Those who want to participate in the program can register their interest here.

South Australia, in contrast to the pro-coal federal government, has invested heavily in renewable energy and battery storage in recent decades. Last year, Musk famously made—and fulfilled—a bet that he could help solve the state's power woes by building a massive battery farm in less than 100 days.

Tesla told AFP that the virtual power plant would have 250 megawatts of solar energy and 650 megawatt hours of battery storage.

"At key moments, the virtual power plant could provide as much capacity as a large gas turbine or coal power plant," the company added.

The rollout will be supported with a Aus$2 million (US$1.6 million) grant and a Aus$30 million (US$23.8 million) loan from the taxpayer-funded Renewable Technology Fund.

Learn more about the program here:

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Pexels

By Zak Smith

It is pretty amazing that in this moment when the COVID-19 outbreak has much of the country holed up in their homes binging Netflix, the most watched show in America over the last few weeks has been focused on wildlife trade — which scientists believe is the source of the COVID-19 pandemic. Make no mistake: Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness is about wildlife trade and other aspects of wildlife exploitation, just as surely as the appearance of Ebola, SARS, MERS, avian flu and probably COVID-19 in humans is a result of wildlife exploitation. As a conservationist, this is one of the things I've been thinking about while watching Tiger King. Here are five more:

Read More Show Less
Pexels

By Hector Chapa

With the coronavirus pandemic quickly spreading, U.S. health officials have changed their advice on face masks and now recommend people wear cloth masks in public areas where social distancing can be difficult, such as grocery stores.

But can these masks be effective?

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Jörg Carstensen / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Carey Gillam

Bayer AG is reneging on negotiated settlements with several U.S. law firms representing thousands of plaintiffs who claim exposure to Monsanto's Roundup herbicides caused them to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma, sources involved in the litigation said on Friday.

Read More Show Less
Tom Werner / DigitalVision / Getty Images

By Jillian Kubala, MS, RD

With many schools now closed due to the current COVID-19 outbreak, you may be looking for activities to keep your children active, engaged, and entertained.

Although numerous activities can keep kids busy, cooking is one of the best choices, as it's both fun and educational.

Read More Show Less
In Germany's Hunsrück village of Schorbach, numerous photovoltaic systems are installed on house roofs, on Sept. 19, 2019. Thomas Frey / Picture Alliance via Getty Images

Germany's target for renewable energy sources to deliver 65% of its consumed electricity by 2030 seemed on track Wednesday, with 52% of electricity coming from renewables in 2020's first quarter. Renewable energy advocates, however, warned the trend is imperiled by slowdowns in building new wind and solar plants.

Read More Show Less