Just months after successfully completing the world's largest power grid backup battery in South Australia which came to the rescue of the state when it faced a summertime power crisis during Christmas, Tesla then proposed the construction of a virtual solar power grid for the region which they claimed would be the world's largest.
The Elon Musk-operated power company has just got the green light for the project where Tesla will install free solar power cells and panels in 1,100 homes across the state. The project was first proposed in February and a local election saw the government change, so the future of this project was on the balance, reports Futurism. The new regime has also agreed with Tesla's programme and have agreed to let them go ahead with it.
The region's previous labour government wanted to set up the grid, finance it and then sell excess power generated by this virtual network. The Liberal party that then took over the state had its own agenda- to subsidise home battery units and provide 40,000 homes with renewable energy to those who could not afford it. The new government found that the Tesla idea was good as well, so they are now reportedly going ahead with both plans- a major win for clean energy innovation.
If this initial plan of installing batteries and solar panels on 1,100 homes becomes successful, the report notes that it will be scaled up to about 50,000 homes. This project right now will be kick started with a $2mn grant and a $30mn loan from the government. Along with the plan to subsidise batteries by about $2,500 per household, it is possible that in the next few years, the region will have close to 90,000 fully solar-powered homes in the next few years, notes the report.
The idea is to reduce dependence on power plants that produce electricity and relay it real time, there is no way to store excess power generated to supply it during times of crisis, notes the report. That is one of the main reasons why having battery backup at homes would reduce the stress on the grid. While the region is still not ready to completely go off grid, this is seen as a positive sign and a first step towards it.