Tesla has partnered with California utility Pacific Gas and Electric Company to launch a “Virtual Power Plant” program in the state that allows Powerwall home battery users to send spare energy to California’s power grid in times of need or emergencies. Dubbed the Emergency Load Reduction Program (ELRP), the program is restricted to PG&E customers but allows those who opt in to get compensated: participants receive $2 for every additional kWh that their Powerwall delivers during an event, according to the landing page for Tesla’s unique program. Users just need to adjust their backup reserve to set their contribution and ensure that enough energy is maintained for outages. Designed to store energy from solar or the grid, Tesla’s Powerwall systems reportedly start at $8,500, not including the usual other costs such as installation and additional required hardware.
Stabilize California’s Grid: The extra capacity your Powerwall provides could help avoid or reduce blackouts in a severe emergency. This way, Powerwall can keep the lights on for both you and your community.
Clean the Grid: Tesla will dispatch your Powerwall when the grid is in critical need of additional power. That is when the least efficient generators would typically come online.
Unite as a Tesla Community: Team up with other Powerwall owners who are accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy and help form the largest distributed battery in the world – potentially over 50,000 Powerwalls. As part of the VPP, your Powerwall will have an outsized positive impact on the grid over traditional demand response programs.
Maintain Your Energy Security: Powerwall will discharge during VPP events but won’t discharge below your Backup Reserve. Adjust your Backup Reserve to control your contribution while maintaining backup energy for outages.
Earn Compensation: Through the ELRP pilot, you will receive $2 for every additional kWh your Powerwall provides during an event. You don’t have to change your energy usage behavior to participate.