Tesla Is Creating a 'Virtual Power Plant' in California

From PC Mag: Tesla and California utility Pacific Gas and Electric Company launched a new program that pays eligible Powerwall home battery owners to send excess energy to the state's power grid in times of need.

To participate, opt into Tesla's Virtual Power Plant (VPP)(Opens in a new window) and adjust your backup reserve (while maintaining enough energy for outages) to automatically dispatch when the grid needs emergency support. Tesla ran a similar pilot last year, but the program was voluntary with no payouts.

As well as the personal feeling of satisfaction for helping to stabilize California's grid, you'll receive $2 for every additional kilowatt-hour delivered during designated "events," such as any time grid operator CAISO issues an energy alert, warning, or emergency. Contributors will receive push notifications before and during an event with details of its expected start and finish times. Once an event is over, each Powerwall will automatically resume normal operation.

Virtual Power Plant participants must, of course, own a Powerwall (with or without solar), and are only eligible if they are an existing PG&E customer not enrolled in any conflicting programs (another VPP, demand response program, Community Choice Aggregator, etc.), with a valid Rule 21 interconnection agreement. Folks can sign up in the Tesla app and, if approved, are enrolled automatically.

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