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Tesla begins its virtual power plant

Tesla has now officially commissioned its virtual power plant in the first region. For this purpose, the owners of stationary electricity storage are used as grid storage, with which the electricity grids can be stabilized if necessary. The company works with energy supplier PG&E in the US state of California. As the power infrastructure manager, they have the ability to leverage the Powerwall power storage systems of many Tesla customers when needed.

This should mainly ensure that so-called brownouts, short-term voltage drops in the grids, can be better absorbed. Tesla is known in this country almost exclusively as a manufacturer of electric cars. The company, on the other hand, is much more based in the US as a full-service e-mobility provider and beyond. The group also markets its solar roofs and battery storage for households. The development of the virtual power plant is going one step further, according to a report in the magazine Electrek appears.

Such buffers are an important part of the new electricity grids for the energy transition. While the large power plant operators have been active on the supply side until now, in the future many smaller producers will feed the electricity back into the grid. As a result, the feed-in is no longer as constant as is known for large fossil energy plants. For this reason, several storage systems have also been integrated into the network, which can intervene with different response and usage times.

Power for times of crisis

The numerous small energy storage devices can be used for short-term fluctuations. The utility can use them flexibly to support only a particular region or to buffer short-term undersupply on a larger scale. The owners of local electricity storage not only provide themselves with the solar energy they have previously generated but also help the general public – and earn something from it too.

Because everyone who helps with the emergency reserve receives a decent compensation for feeding it. Because as an electricity supplier that only supplies at times when there is a major shortage in the grid, you can achieve correspondingly high prices. For every kilowatt hour brought in by the Powerwall owners in such cases, the user will be paid a minimum of $2. In contrast to the conventional feed-in of solar energy, such emergencies can of course hardly be planned, so one does not necessarily have to feel a good business model and immediately buy a second storage unit. In addition, nobody has to worry about running out of power because the grid operator has drained everything – the amount for the backup reserve can be set by the Powerwall owners.