Tesla is helping build the world's biggest 'virtual power plant'

Tesla already put together the world's biggest lithium battery in Australia. Now it's going for another record....

Posted: Feb 5, 2018 11:00 AM
Updated: Feb 5, 2018 11:00 AM

Tesla already put together the world's biggest lithium battery in Australia. Now it's going for another record.

The state of South Australia has announced plans to equip at least 50,000 homes with solar panels and Tesla battery storage units, connecting them all to the electricity grid to form the world's largest "virtual power plant."

More than 6,500 homes have already signed up to register their interest in participating, South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill said in a tweet Monday.

Related: Australia just switched on the world's biggest battery

Virtual power plants work by using multiple energy sources -- rather than one big power station -- to ensure a reliable supply. In South Australia's case, the solar panels on people's homes will generate electricity that can be stored in the battery units and then supplied to customers.

Participating households will benefit from cheaper energy bills while also generating energy for the South Australian grid, the state government said in a statement Sunday. They won't have to pay for installation because it will be financed by the sale of electricity.

The four-year project is being bankrolled by taxpayers through a government grant and a state-funded technology fund totaling $32 million Australian dollars ($25 million).

The system will monitor data across the network of solar panels and batteries in order to provide a more reliable energy supply. That's a key issue in South Australia, which has suffered from frequent power outages and shortages.

Related: How Tesla is helping with Puerto Rico's power crisis

As part of the broader efforts to improve the state's energy supply, the government in December switched on the world's largest lithium ion battery, a project spearheaded by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

South Australia's 1.7 million residents suffer regular power cuts and energy shortages. A major blackout occurred last February when a heat wave caused demand to spike. And in late 2016, much of the state was left without power after a storm damaged crucial transmission lines.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 246550

Reported Deaths: 6265
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1077923457
Riverside18720465
San Diego15207377
Orange15065354
San Bernardino13152265
Imperial6824100
Alameda6384138
Fresno562677
Kern493977
Santa Clara4750159
Tulare4521133
San Joaquin429855
San Francisco371950
Sacramento355969
San Mateo3376108
Contra Costa332678
Santa Barbara326129
Ventura324047
Kings258332
Marin244619
Stanislaus239144
Monterey174815
Solano147625
Sonoma12299
Merced120811
Placer75411
San Luis Obispo6752
Yolo58324
Madera5665
Santa Cruz4103
Napa3444
San Benito2572
Lassen2340
Butte2063
El Dorado2060
Sutter2063
Humboldt1384
Shasta1354
Nevada1231
Glenn1220
Yuba1031
Tehama881
Lake850
Mendocino850
Colusa700
Calaveras530
Del Norte511
Tuolumne430
Mono411
Inyo321
Siskiyou310
Mariposa271
Amador260
Plumas110
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 68°
Oroville
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 69°
Paradise
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 68°
Chester
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 65°
Red Bluff
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 94° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 71°
Willows
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 68°
Mostly sunny skies and slightly cooler temperatures are expected for your Friday. We'll be mostly sunny and a little warmer through your 4th of July weekend.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events