Entrepreneur Elon Musk and the South Australian government have revealed a plan to build the world’s largest virtual power plant.
Under the plan, 50,000 homes in South Australia (SA) will have solar panels and batteries installed by Musk’s Tesla free of charge.
The project will be funded by the sale of electricity generated by the panels.
The initiative is Tesla’s second major project in South Australia, having previously built the world’s largest lithium ion battery in the state.
Jay Weatherill, Premier of SA, said that the government had issued an expression of interest for a retailer to deliver the program.
The successful retailer will be granted the right to tap the output of the solar panels and supply power into the state’s power grid.
Panels have already been installed in 1,100 trial properties with a further 24,000 to follow in the first stage.
Once the trial is complete, all SA households will have the opportunity to participate in the program with at least 50,000 systems to be installed within four years.
Weatherill said that modelling revealed that participating households could expect their power bill to drop by 30 percent.
“We will use people’s homes as a way to generate energy for the South Australian grid, with participating households benefitting with significant savings in their energy bills,” he told reporters in Adelaide on Sunday.
The first 25,000 systems will be installed in social housing so as to benefit the most vulnerable, Social Housing Minister Zoe Bettison said.