In conjunction with the government of South Australia, Tesla is set to install solar panels in 50,000 homes, which between them will make up the biggest virtual solar plant in the world.
Having already broken records in Australia by building the biggest battery ever designed in just over 100 days, Tesla is now ready to top that by making the biggest virtual solar plant in the world – by fitting out 50,000 homes in the state of South Australia with solar panels which will be linked together.
This initiative, which is being run in conjunction with the Australian government, will be financed by the sale of electricity, thus making it cost-free. The project is currently set to run for the next four years, according to Mashable website.
The biggest virtual solar power plant in the world
The US company is looking to fit out 50,000 individual homes with 5 kW photovoltaic panels, coupled with 13.5 kWh Tesla Powerwall storage batteries. Once they are interlinked, they will constitute the biggest virtual solar plant ever designed and will be able to provide power not only to the homes in question but also to much of the South Australian grid – with 75,000 homes potentially being covered in the long term.
The houses involved will not have to pay for the installation, which will be financed by the sale of the electricity. They will even benefit from a preferential rate which should reduce their power bills by almost 30%. According to a press release issued by the federal government, even those homes which are not equipped with Tesla Powerwall batteries should see their bills reduced thanks to the competition that it will create, not to mention the issues of climate change that will be addressed, and the fact that Australian summers are getting progressively hotter.
250 megawatts of total power
The first phase of the project will run until June, with Tesla equipping around a hundred homes in a low-income residential area. A thousand more houses in the same area will be fitted out by the end of 2017. The next two phases will then feature 24,000 and 25,000 homes, with the whole project taking four years in total.
The virtual solar plant is set to generate almost 250,000 megawatts of power in the long term in what is a technically highly impressive project. Should it prove to be successful, it could be exported around the world and thus enable a number of countries to produce electricity in an economical and ecological way, as Marc Zaffagni of Futura Sciences points out.
According to a statement from South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill, anyone who wishes to take part in the Tesla programme can sign up on the government site with 4,000 homes having already volunteered.
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