SA Government partner with Tesla to deliver free batteries and solar panels

By Ben Tosi ·

South Australia will soon add another notable notch to its renewable energy belt after the Weatherill Government yesterday announced a deal with Elon Musk’s Tesla to deliver solar panels and batteries, free of charge, to 50,000 homes across the state.

The massive network of solar panels and batteries will create the world’s largest ‘virtual power plant’ (VPP), an asset that Frontier Economics’ Managing Director, Danny Price says will slash household energy bills across the entire state.

“At full scale the VPP adds about 250 mW of capacity to the system, that immediately improves competition across the market,” said Price.

“That will result in savings of $180 million per annum for all consumers, whether they’re participating or not, simply because of these competitive gains.”

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The rollout of the project will be financed by the sale of electricity (generated by the panels) and is expected to be conducted over the next four and a half years.

When it comes down to the average household energy bill, South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill, who will face a state election in March, said Aussies could see savings of up to 30%.

“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," he said.

"More renewable energy means cheaper power for all South Australians."

The Housing Trust trial

South Australia’s virtual power plant will lay down its first foundations in 100 Housing Trust homes across the state by June 30, with another 1,000 set for installation over the following 12 months.

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After this, 24,000 homes will be connected to the power plant before a similar offer is made to the general public.

All-in-all, the plan is to have 50,000 homes connected in the next four and a half years.

How to get involved

The South Australian Government is set to release an expression of interest for a retailer who will be responsible for delivering the panels and batteries to homes across the state, later this week.

But if you’re a South Australian resident looking to get your hands on a solar panel and battery courtesy of Tesla you can register your interest here.

And if you’re not, it doesn’t mean that you can’t get in on the solar panel action.

In fact, Mozo’s state-based comparison tool will show you a range of popular energy plans as well as whether or not they have a green power option. And if you’ve already got solar panels and are searching for a better value energy plan check out our Energy Cost Cruncher Calculator.

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