Tesla and utility company PG&E have launched a new program in California that will pay Powerwall owners who participate in it. Powerwall households are creating a virtual power plant (VPP) that sends electricity to the grid during emergencies or power shortages.
Under the new program, by signing up, Powerwall owners will earn $2 for each additional kilowatt-hour they put into the grid during certain events when the grid is under heavy load. Owners will receive one push notification a few hours before the scheduled event and one at the time it starts.
Tesla launched a similar beta program with PG&E last July. However, back then it was a voluntary program with no payouts. Now, by paying out a cash stimulus, the program has become big enough to become an important backup energy source in California. According to the description on Tesla's website, participants will help shape the world's largest distributed battery—potentially over 50,000 Powerwalls. This VPP can replace gas-fired power plants that typically plug into the grid to provide extra power when demand for electricity starts to outstrip supply.
“The California grid operator forecasts a continued need for Californians to support the grid. Help create the largest distributed battery system in the world and avoid dependence on the least efficient fossil fuel power plants. Opt-in to the Tesla Virtual Power Plant (VPP), and Tesla will dispatch your Powerwall when the grid needs support while continuing to maintain your energy security.”
In California, PG&E customers who own Powerwall can sign up to join the VPP through the Tesla App. After that, they will be able to make all the necessary settings, according to their preferences and needs. After accumulating $2 for each additional kWh sent to the grid, members will receive payments from Tesla as determined by the company. For this season, participants can expect to be paid by the end of March 2023.
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