Photo: Portsmouth City Council via Energy Manager Magazine
Tesla's new virtual power plant with PG&E in California invited 25,000 customers to participate in the program. Last week the companies reported that the number of participants had already exceeded 1,500.
At the end of June, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and Tesla Inc. launched a new pilot program that creates a virtual power plant to help maintain grid reliability and save customers money. Tesla has invited approximately 25,000 PG&E customers with Powerwall to join the VPP and help build the world's largest distributed battery. In just two weeks of the new program, over 3,000 customers have expressed interest in enrolling, with over 1,500 customers already signed up and officially participating in the program, according to PG&E, information found by @JohnnaCrider1/Twitter.
As part of this collaboration, the companies created the Emergency Load Reduction Pilot Program (ELRP), registering and integrating Powerwall Residential Home Battery Systems into a virtual power plant to dump energy back into the grid in California during periods of high electricity demand. Participating customers will be compensated for the energy consumed by their Powerwall. They receive $2 for every incremental kilowatt-hour of electricity their Powerwall discharges during an event. Through their Tesla app, customers can set their backup power needs to ensure they still have enough energy for their personal, essential needs in the event of an outage, or they can opt-out of an event completely in the app, as desired.
“VPPs are a valuable resource for supporting grid reliability and an essential part of California’s clean energy future. Our customers’ home batteries offer a unique resource that can positively contribute to our state’s electric grid and will become more significant as our customers continue to adopt clean energy technology. In collaborating with Tesla, we are further integrating behind-the-meter battery-based VPPs on the largest scale yet, helping to make customer resiliency technologies more accessible and continuing a long tradition at PG&E of actively integrating VPP resources into our energy supply portfolio,” said PG&E's Aaron August, vice president, Business Development & Customer Engagement.
“Enabling Powerwall customers to support the grid and their community is a necessary and important part of accelerating the transition to sustainable energy. We seek to partner with utilities and regulators everywhere to unlock the full potential of storage to bring more renewable, resilient, and less costly electricity to everyone,” said Tesla’s Drew Baglino, senior vice president of Powertrain and Energy Engineering.
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