Monday, October 3, 2022
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Tesla quietly built a virtual power plant in Japan

Tesla’s latest virtual power plant is in Japan. The company Announced on Friday that it has been quietly installing its Powerwall batteries in homes on Miyako-jima Island since 2021 and now has more than 300 installed. It is the largest commercial virtual power plant in Japan, according to the statement.

Virtual power plants take advantage of solar panels and batteries in private homes. People with those settings can sign up to send extra power to the power grid in their area, giving it an extra boost in situations where there’s a risk of a blackout. The grid can use that power instead of drawing it from gas-fired power plants that are typically used when power supplies are tight.

The virtual power plant is based on a program by the local power company in Miyakojima, Miyakojima Mirai Energy Co, which installs solar panels and storage batteries free of charge.

Tesla already has virtual power plants operating in California and Australia and is working to get one up and running in Texas, where it sees an opportunity to add a new power source to a perennially unreliable grid. In California, people with Powerwalls installed in their homes can get $2 for every kilowatt-hour that is returned to the grid when it is under stress during emergencies or periods of high demand.

People living in Miyako-jima experience regular power outages during typhoons, and Powerwalls help keep the lights on in individual homes. “During typhoons, lights are available, refrigerators can be used as usual,” a Powerwall customer said in a post. Video Launched by Tesla.

Tesla said it plans to have 400 Powerwall units installed by the end of the year and 600 units by the end of 2023. The company then plans to expand into the rest of Okinawa prefecture, which covers the constellation of islands that straddle the Japanese mainland. and Taiwan.

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