If you’ve been frustrated by the number of utility texts and emails you receive every time the mercury spikes, there’s a solution: the Tesla Virtual Power Plant (VPP). Tesla’s VPP program gives energy consumers in deregulated areas in Texas the opportunity to help stabilize the grid. And for the first time, Texas consumers get paid  for accelerating the transition of the ERCOT power grid to renewable energy.

So, what’s a Virtual Power Plant? 

In a nutshell, a Virtual Power Plant is a network of decentralized energy resources, seamlessly connected to form a unified, intelligent energy ecosystem. In this case, the Tesla VPP is like a giant battery made of thousands of individual batteries, all smartly managed to help balance the grid.

Here’s why VPPs are important

Traditionally, power grids have been centralized systems, relying on a few large power plants to generate electricity for entire states or regions. Vulnerable to outages, prone to inefficiencies, and heavily reliant on fossil fuels, centralized grids are in dire need of modernization and diversification. Enter the age of the VPP.

Here’s how the Tesla VPP works for Texans

Tesla Powerwall Battery Backup for Solar PanelsAt the core of the Tesla VPP are Tesla Powerwalls, home battery systems capable of storing excess energy generated from solar panels or other renewable sources. These Powerwalls are linked together, creating a resilient network capable of supplying electricity on-demand, while also alleviating stress on the ERCOT grid during peak usage times.

The Tesla VPP harnesses the power of artificial intelligence to optimize energy distribution in real time. As a participant in the Tesla VPP, your Powerwall can provide backup power when ERCOT needs it. In exchange for this energy you will receive “Sellback Credits” – a fixed amount of $0.05/kWh exported to the grid. 

While participating in the Virtual Power Plant, your Powerwall will be dispatched when the grid needs support. For your participation, you will earn $33 per Powerwall on your monthly electric bill, in addition to your monthly Sellback Credits earned for energy that you send back to the grid.

Here’s an example

To illustrate how much you could earn, let’s look at an example: A Longhorn customer who participates in the Tesla VPP program might contribute 650 kWh on an average month to the Tesla VPP at a set sellback price of $.05 per kWh, resulting in $32.50 in bill credit that month. In addition, the customer earns $33 per month for the use of the Powerwall by the Tesla VPP, for a total bill credit of $65.50. At this average rate, the customer could expect to earn roughly $786 in one year, just from participating in the program. Any additional savings from solar is on top of this. 

Maintain Energy Security while Making More for Your Energy

The best part about the Tesla VPP program is, the customer is never without backup power. The Tesla VPP always ensures 25% of your reserve is set aside to back up your home energy use, regardless of how much energy you send to the grid.

The Tesla VPP has the potential to revolutionize the way we think about energy ownership and consumption. By letting consumers participate in grid management, Tesla is leveling the playing field for clean, renewable energy in ways previously thought impossible. This not only promotes energy independence and resilience at the individual level but also fosters a sense of community and collective responsibility towards a greener, more sustainable future.

Find out if you’re eligible by sending us a quick note or contact your Longhorn Account Manager for more info.