1,500 Tesla Powerwall owners have already joined the new virtual power plant in California

PG&E announced that more than 1,500 Tesla Powerwall owners have already decided to join the new virtual power plant launched in partnership with Tesla in California.

A virtual power plant (VPP) consists of distributed energy storage systems, like Tesla Powerwalls, used in concert to provide grid services and avoid the use of polluting and expensive power plants. Last year, Tesla launched a VPP trial in California, where Powerwall owners would voluntarily join without compensation to let the VPP draw power from their batteries when the grid needed it.

Last month, Tesla and PG&E, a large Northern California electric utility company, announced the launch of a new commercial VPP where owners of Powerwalls would be compensated for helping the grid with energy from their batteries.

PG&E has now released an update on the virtual power plant and said that more than 1,500 Tesla Powerwall owners have already joined the program:

On June 22, Tesla invited approximately 25,000 PG&E customers with Powerwalls to join the VPP and help form the world’s largest distributed battery. In the first two weeks of the new program, more than 3,000 customers expressed interest in signing up, with more than 1,500 customers officially enrolled in the program.

Aaron August, vice president of business development and customer engagement at PG&E, commented on the progress of the VPP:

VPPs are a valuable resource to support grid reliability and an essential part of California’s clean energy future. Our customers’ home batteries offer a unique resource that can contribute positively to our state’s electrical grid and will become more important as our customers continue to adopt clean energy technology. By collaborating with Tesla, we are further integrating battery-based VPPs behind the meter on the largest scale to date, helping to make customer resiliency technologies more accessible and continuing a long tradition at PG&E of actively integrating VPP resources. in our energy supply portfolio.

Drew Baglino, senior vice president of powertrain and energy engineering at Tesla, added:

Empowering Powerwall customers to take charge of 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 around the world to unlock the full potential of storage to bring more renewable, resilient and less expensive electricity to all.

With an average of two Powerwalls per customer, the VPP most likely already has a load capacity of 13 MW.

PG&E says if all eligible Powerwall owners join, the VPP will have available megawatts equivalent to “the energy generated by a small power plant.”

Tesla Powerwall owners can register through the Tesla app and receive $2 per kWh they send back to the grid during emergency events.

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