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Hon Dan van Holst Pellekaan MP, Minister for Energy and Mining.

The South Australian Government is expanding the Tesla Virtual Power Plant with another 3,000 families in Housing SA properties receiving solar and batteries to save money on their power bills, whilst improving the grid for all other South Australians in a $60.6 million expansion.

Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan said the Marshall Liberal government is providing $10 million from its $50 million Grid Scale Storage Fund competitive process to secure voltage and frequency support, and synthetic inertia in a world-leading procurement.

“Working with Tesla, we have expanded the scheme from 100 to 1,100 homes, and will now take that to 4,100 Housing SA properties across the state,” Minister van Holst Pellekaan said.

“In a world-first, home batteries will provide the grid stability services that South Australia has lacked since the closure of the Northern Power Station, to address the legacy of instability that we inherited.

“This will deliver at a household level what we are also delivering through the 50% expansion of the big battery at Hornsdale Battery to address these legacy issues.”

“This is the largest per capita roll out of home batteries in the world. In combination with Home Battery Scheme and free batteries for bushfire victims, this takes the number of home batteries already installed and committed in SA to over 20,000.”

“Having rooftop PV and household batteries linked through a Virtual Power Plant creates the equivalent of a grid-scale battery in our suburbs and towns, which will complement the four other grid-scale batteries already operating in South Australia.

“Tesla’s vision is to grow this VPP to include 50,000 homes across South Australia and has already started adding private households in addition to the Housing SA tenants participating in the project.”

In addition to $10 million from the SA Government, Tesla is contributing $18 million to the expansion, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) is providing an $8.2 million grant and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) is providing a $30 million loan support the VPP’s expansion.

Tesla expects the VPP expansion to create about 80 full-time equivalent jobs for licenced South Australian electricians during the project’s anticipated 18-month deployment and will include locally produced solar panels.

For more information visit: virtualpowerplant.sa.gov.au

Download the media release: South Australia's Virtual Power Plant to boost capacity (PDF)

Friday 4 September 2020