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Project overview
  • Lead Organisation

    Tesla Motors Australia


    South Australia

    ARENA Program

    Advancing Renewables Program

  • Start date

    25 August 2020

    End date

    30 June 2023

  • Project Partners
    Energy Locals, SA Power Networks, Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC), Government of South Australia, South Australian Housing Trust


With the support of the South Australian Government, Tesla and electricity retailer Energy Locals are developing South Australia’s Virtual Power Plant (SA VPP) – a network of potentially 50,000 solar and Tesla Powerwall home battery systems across South Australia forming the world’s largest VPP.

This Tesla Virtual Power Plant project Phase 3A will see the deployment of 3,000 household solar and Powerwall battery storage systems on residential properties owned by Housing SA. These solar and battery systems will be centrally managed and controlled by Tesla as part of their VPP.


A VPP is a network of distributed energy resources. This includes homes with solar and battery systems – all working together as a single power plant.

With many systems working together, small amounts of energy stored in Powerwall home batteries can become large amounts of energy to help support the electricity grid in times of need. The capacity and power of a VPP can sometimes match or even exceed a traditional power station.


Phase 3A of the SA VPP will see Tesla install 3000 solar PV and Powerwall systems on Housing SA properties across the state. This offers a chance for Housing SA tenants to lower their electricity bills, and be part of a world first program making electricity cleaner and more affordable, reliable and secure for all South Australians.

Tesla will use WiFi technology and sophisticated software to charge or discharge energy from the batteries and trade it on the National Energy Market (NEM).


The project aims to demonstrate the pathway to commercialisation of VPPs by validating their technical ability to provide energy market services such as:

  • contingency FCAS,
  • reactive power voltage support,
  • fast frequency response and inertia.

The project also aims to demonstrate the viability of the SA VPP commercial model and the attractiveness of this model to residential customers.

Additional impact

The project will deliver electricity bill savings to the Housing SA tenants whilst delivering increased grid reliability to the wider community.

The 3000 additional solar and Powerwall systems will participate in AEMO’s VPP demonstration, providing a range of services by exporting excess energy to the NEM and demonstrating how VPP’s can provide grid stability services, creating a path for other distributed energy resources in the future to provide important grid services that until now have only been provided by centralised, more traditional equipment.

Phase 3A of the SA VPP is expected to create about 80 full-time equivalent jobs during the roll out.

Last updated 20 April 2023


What are virtual power plants and why do they matter?

Thousands of household solar and battery installations are being aggregated into virtual power plants to help stabilise the electricity grid.

Social housing added to the Tesla virtual power plant

Thousands of Housing SA premises will be added to a virtual power plant that is predicted to become the largest in the world.

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