Some of South Australia’s most disadvantaged households are now receiving cheaper, more reliable energy with the help of the state’s Virtual Power Plant (VPP), with more than 1,100 Housing SA households signed up to the program. 

South Australian Minister for Energy and Mining, Dan van Holst Pellekaan, said the VVP is delivering affordable electricity to some of South Australia’s most disadvantaged households whilst increasing the reliability of the state’s electricity network.

“Households participating in the Phase 2 trial are charged electricity rates more than 20 per cent better than the Default Market Offer introduced on 1 July 2019,” Mr van Holst Pellekaan said. 

“Tesla is regularly reviewing and benchmarking the VPP Program Offer to ensure the program continues to deliver the savings promised to customers and that the VPP Program Offer is the best published retail offer in the South Australian market.

“Results from Phase 1 and Phase 2 are already contributing towards the design of the potential Phase 3 to enable as many families as possible to benefit from this program.

“In particular smaller 5kW solar systems are already being trialled to allow for more properties with smaller roofs or other physical constraints to be included.

“Phase 3 of the VPP could see 50,000 homes connected to the VPP becoming the equivalent of a 250MW virtual power plant.

“VPP’s will be an integral part of the future of Australia’s energy system, allowing people with solar panels to store the energy they generate during the day to power their home after the sun goes down.”

The SA Virtual Power Plant trial phases have been supported by a $2 million grant and $20 million loan from the South Australian Renewable Technology Fund.

The SA Virtual Power Plant intends to be part of the Australian Energy Market Operator’s (AEMO) Virtual Power Plant Demonstrations starting in late July 2019.

AEMO’s Emerging Markets and Services General Manager, Violette Mouchaileh, said the VPP demonstrations will provide evidence-based learning towards the integration of distributed energy resources to unlock scalable consumer value and power system reliability and security in the National Electricity Market.

Tesla is also collaborating with SA Power Networks and the CSIRO for the Advanced VPP Grid Integration project with funding by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

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