Tesla plugs UK homes into its ‘Virtual Power Plant’ – www.businessgreen.com

The scheme combines Tesla Powerwall batteries with homes' rooftop solar power | Credit: Tesla

The scheme combines Tesla Powerwall batteries with homes’ rooftop solar power | Credit: Tesla

Tesla has opened its Energy Plan to UK homes without electric vehicles, partnering with Octopus Energy to supply renewable electricity to customers

UK homeowners without electric vehicles can now sign up to Tesla’s Energy Plan, with the electric car, solar and battery giant having teamed up with Octopus Energy to this week begin offering its flexible energy tariff to homes with solar and energy storage technology.

It means households operating solar and batter systems can also now plug into the Tesla’s UK ‘Virtual Power Plant’, joining a network of homes that generate, store and return electricity to the grid at peak times.

The Virtual Power Plant sees Tesla manage the electricity generated by homes’ rooftop solar panels, storing it in the firm’s Powerwall battery for later use or exporting surplus power to the grid. This helps optimise homes’ energy consumption to lower electricity bills while protecting homes from power cuts and supporting the grid during peak times, the firm claims, with a Powerwall battery typically maintaining a 20 per cent charge in the case of a blackout – ensuring around two to four hours of back-up power.

All homes on the tarrif receive 100 per cent renewable energy, either directly generated by their rooftop solar panels or from energy supplier Octopus Energy, Tesla’s retail partner.

Tesla claims the plan offers the lowest flat electricity rates in the UK, offering a potential saving of up to 75 per cent on customers’ bills when compared with ‘Big Six’ providers and based on electricity consumption of 8,000 kWh/year. Elon Musk’s company is offering the highest rates available on the UK’s Solar Export Guarantee (SEG), a policy which enables homes generating solar power to sell their excess energy to the grid, according to Solar Power Portal. 

The extension of the Tesla Energy Plan to homes is the latest stage of a progressive rollout of the scheme, building up from an initial trial before being opened up to Tesla owners, then EV owners, and now expanded to encompass solar and Powerwall owners.

While Tesla’s Solar Roof technology is not yet available in the UK, its Powerwall battery is becoming increasingly common. It was first installed in UK homes by now-closed energy supplier Tonik Energy in summer 2019. More recently, Portsmouth City Council installed what is currently the largest operational Tesla Powerwall in the UK, with the ten-unit battery system capable of storing up to 135kWh of electricity.

Source: https://www.businessgreen.com/news/4022389/tesla-plugs-uk-homes-virtual-power-plant

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