Lifestyle

South Australia’s Virtual Power Plant: The Devil is in the detail

Solar Panels on your roof and a Tesla home battery for power storage – all funded by the government?  Sounds too good to be true!  It is.

Now don’t get me wrong, this is a fantastic initiative from the South Australian Government, it has two very critical effects.  Firstly increasing the available power to all South Australians, and secondly lowering the overall cost of electricity for some and possibly many.

At a glance it seems like the Government in SA has done a mega deal with Tesla to get Solar Panels and Tesla batteries installed in South Australian homes so those homes can live the “grid free” life so many people are starting to enjoy around the country.

Nope.  By taking part in this Government Scheme you are going to be effectively signing up to a new electricity provider.  That electricity provider will install the panels and battery at your home.  Your home will then generate and store electricity every single day.

You will use power as you always have, and you will receive a bill as you always have – for every single bit of power you use.  Essentially you are going to be billed for power that you generate and that you take from the traditional grid.

This huge “virtual power plant” is a fantastic way of building one huge solar and battery farm, without ever buying land.  The “land” the power station sits on will be the 50,000 homes signed up to the program.

With the incentive of saving 30% on power, it’s a big deal – but for home owners in the market for Solar and battery storage it’s still way better for you to stump up the cost of the install and reduce your power bills to little or nothing and have the whole cost recovered in 7-10 years after which you start to essentially profit from your investment.

For homeowners on this scheme you are signing up to a long term saving of “around 30%” on your bills – by handing over your roof and some wall space to a Government backed virtual power company.

Fantastic Idea, innovative without any question and one can imagine the idea coming directly from the mind of Elon Musk, a man that has previously done the calculations to show that the use of rooftops for solar energy generation can essentially replace all traditional forms of power generation – make no mistake he’s going to be using this model all over the world.

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