Tesla gains approval for virtual power plant in Texas

Tesla has been granted approval to commence a ‘statewide market design pilot’ virtual power plant (VPP) in Texas. The pilot will involve Powerwall owners in the Lone Star State pooling their stored energy together and supplying the grid while getting paid for it.

Tesla has been pushing its VPP program, which it promises will allow private energy storage battery owners to provide grid services. It will eliminate the need for peaker power plants, which are expensive to build and pollute the environment.

The company launched a VPP pilot in California last year, but the Powerwall owners were not compensated. The aim was to prove how useful the program is. However, Tesla, PG&E, and SCE have launched a paid version that compensates the participants with $2 per kWh of energy that they contribute in most of the state.

They can expect to earn between $10 and $60 during each emergency event.

Replicating the same in Texas was not straightforward. Tesla had to lobby for a policy change that would allow homeowners with solar and battery installations to take part in the state’s energy market. It overcame that obstacle, launching a demo VPP involving only 200 participants, and is now expanding it statewide.

Tesla launched a VPP in Japan in 2021, and it is expected to grow to 400 homes by the end of 2022.

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