PREMIER Jay Weatherill was in Munno Para on Sunday to reveal details of the State Government’s new scheme to develop the world’s largest “virtual power plant”, using a network of connected household solar and battery systems.
Mr Weatherill briefed the media on the plan at the Stretton Centre, saying the government has partnered with global renewable energy giant Tesla to roll out 5kW solar panel systems and 13.5kWh Tesla Powerwall 2 batteries across 50,000 South Australian households over the next four years.
The near-$800 million roll-out – paid for by Tesla, with help from a $30 million loan from the government’s Renewable Technology Fund and a further $2 million grant – will begin through an initial trial of 1100 Housing Trust properties, for which householders can now register.
It will then be extended to another 24,000 public homes, before a deal will be made available for a further 25,000 homes – including in the private sector – to access the scheme in the third stage of the roll-out.
Mr Weatherill said the roll-out wouldn’t be focused on one area in particular.
“This system’s strength is that it’s distributed, so we want the broadest possible distribution; we think that will be what will drive the choices here,” he said.
Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said the “virtual power plant” would address 20 per cent of South Australia’s energy requirements, by feeding 250MW into the energy grid, and lower household energy demand.
It would work by storing or selling electricity produced by individual solar panels so that it can be used when most needed, with the network of household systems to be controlled by a centralised computer system interacting with installed smart meters.
Anyone interested in participating in the program can complete an online registration of interest at virtualpowerplant.sa.gov.au