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Tesla, Australia to turn 50,000 homes into power grid

Staff Writer |
About 50,000 homes in South Australia are to receive solar panels and Tesla batteries, the state government announced in a landmark plan to turn houses into a giant, interconnected power plant.

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South Australia is already home to world’s biggest battery in an Elon Musk-driven project to provide electricity for more than 30,000 homes.

The state government has since been looking for more ways — particularly through renewables — to address its energy woes after an “unprecedented” storm caused a state-wide blackout in 2016.

Under a new plan unveiled yesterday, a network of solar panels linked to rechargeable batteries would be provided free to households and financed by the sale of excess electricity generated by the network, the government said.

A trial phase is to begin with 1,100 public housing properties, each supplied with a 5 kilowatt solar panel system Tesla battery.

Following the trial, the systems are to be installed at an additional 24,000 public housing properties before the scheme is opened up to other South Australians over the next four years.

The government is also set to look for an energy retailer to deliver the program to add more competition to the market.

The rollout is to be supported by the state government through a A$2 million ($1.6 million) grant and a A$30 million loan from a taxpayer renewable technology fund.

The virtual power plant would have 250 megawatts of solar energy and 650 megawatt hours of battery storage, a Tesla statement said.

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