Last year, following a series of blackouts in South Australia in 2016, Tesla was entrusted with the construction of the world's largest energy storage facility. It is formed from many Powerpacks modules and can not only store electricity, but also very quickly give it back to the network. A month after the launch of the system, an unwitting experiment occurred - an accident at a coal plant - and 100 MW were transferred to the grid in 140 milliseconds. Against the 10-15 minutes required to run powerful generators.
Inspired by the success, Tesla managers lobbied for the implementation of the next project in the region - a "virtual power plant". It will consist of 50, 000 privately owned complexes, which will generate and transfer energy for storage in an arbitrary order. This system does not have a clear structure and schedule of work; it can be flexibly adapted to different conditions.
Tesla will distribute to everyone free of charge a set of solar panels with a capacity of 5 kW and a Powerwall 2 battery. Households will not be able to dispose of the energy they generate and will still have to pay for the electricity they consume. But 30% less, and if the facility is cut off from the municipal grid, the Powerwall battery will automatically close the gap using accumulated reserves.
According to Tesla's plans, the total capacity of the "virtual power plant" will be up to 250 MW. South Australian authorities have already approved solar panels for 11, 000 households and grid-connected. At the second stage, another 24, 000 objects will be added, and if there are no problems, the service will become available to all residents of the region.