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Tesla, Australia to turn 50000 homes into power generators

Tesla, Australia to turn 50000 homes into power generators

The South Australian government will roll out at least 50,000 home solar panels and batteries across the state, in a plan to create the "world's largest Virtual Power Plant". This could then see at least 50,000 systems being installed across the region by 2022.

Late a year ago, Tesla completed its project to build the world's largest li-ion battery as a solution to power outages that were plaguing South Australia.

"We will use people's homes as a way to generate energy for the South Australian grid, with participating households benefiting with significant savings in their energy bills", the premier said on Sunday. "South Australia has the world's biggest battery and now it will have the world's biggest virtual power plant", he said.

The rollout will be supported by the state government through a Aus$2 million (US$1.6 million) grant and a Aus$30 million loan from a taxpayer renewable technology fund.

Data from Frontier Economics suggests the 250-megawatt system could lower household bills by as much as 30 percent.

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"What this project will do is connect thousands of solar and battery systems to make one giant, coordinated virtual power plant".

Billionaire Elon Musk previous year built the world's biggest lithium-ion battery system to support South Australia's blackout-plagued power grid.

Construction of the South Australia virtual power plant will begin with the test installation of solar panels and Tesla battery storage units on 1100 social housing properties from 2018-2019. Housing Trust is a program for lower-income households.

Bloomberg is reporting the news, stating that Tesla's solar panels and Powerwalls will be at 800 Home Depot locations soon, with this marking the first time Tesla has inked a major U.S. retain chain to sell their products. Lowe's, which is the second largest home-improvement chain in the US, also announced it was talking with Tesla about putting its products in the iconic blue and white stores. One of the biggest potential challenges for Tesla, however, remains initial cost and "sticker shock". And the Tesla Solar Roof averages $52,000 for the average home.

Tesla's solar panels and Powerwalls will cost between $10,000 and $25,000 with Powerwalls costing $7000 each.


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