More than 1,500 Customers Already Enrolled in
Home Battery-Based Virtual Power Plant Cash Incentives Offered for
Participating Customers Enrollment is Ongoing through October
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and Tesla Inc. have
launched a new pilot program that creates a virtual power plant, to
help support electric grid reliability and save customers
On June 22, Tesla invited approximately 25,000 PG&E
customers with Powerwalls to join the VPP and help form the world’s
largest distributed battery. In the first two weeks of the new
program, more than 3,000 customers have expressed interest in
enrolling, with more than 1,500 customers officially in the
Through this collaboration, Tesla is participating in PG&E’s
Emergency Load Reduction Program (ELRP) pilot by enrolling and
combining residential Powerwall home battery systems into a virtual
power plant to discharge power back to the grid in California
during times of high electricity demand. Participating customers
will receive compensation for the energy their Powerwalls
“VPPs are a valuable resource for supporting grid reliability
and an essential part of California’s clean energy future. Our
customers’ home batteries offer a unique resource that can
positively contribute to our state’s electric grid and will become
more significant as our customers continue to adopt clean energy
technology. In collaborating with Tesla, we are further integrating
behind-the-meter battery-based VPPs on the largest scale yet,
helping to make customer resiliency technologies more accessible
and continuing a long tradition at PG&E of actively integrating
VPP resources into our energy supply portfolio,” said PG&E’s
Aaron August, vice president, Business Development & Customer
This venture aims to accelerate the growing trend of customers
adopting distributed energy resource technologies—which can both
support customer energy needs and contribute to the reliability of
the grid—by expanding access to new customer program offerings and
“Enabling Powerwall customers to support the grid and their
community is a necessary and important part of accelerating the
transition to sustainable energy. We seek to partner with utilities
and regulators everywhere to unlock the full potential of storage
to bring more renewable, resilient, and less costly electricity to
everyone,” said Tesla’s Drew Baglino, senior vice president of
Powertrain and Energy Engineering.
If all eligible customers throughout PG&E’s Northern and
Central California service area participate in the VPP, the
available megawatts would be equivalent to the energy generated by
a small power plant.
How the PG&E Tesla VPP Works
PG&E will call load management events for participating
customers, directing their battery to discharge when there is high
demand for electricity from 4 to 9 p.m. (May through October).
Participating customers receive $2 for every incremental
kilowatt-hour of electricity their Powerwall discharges during an
event. Through their Tesla app, customers can set their backup
power needs to ensure they still have enough energy for their
personal, essential needs in the event of an outage, or they can
opt-out of an event completely in the app, as necessary.
PG&E residential customers are eligible if they own a Tesla
Powerwall, have an interconnection agreement with PG&E, and are
not enrolled in other demand response programs.
Eligible customers can use their Tesla mobile app to sign up for
the PG&E Tesla VPP or learn more here.
About Virtual Power Plants
VPP resources are in customers’ homes or at their businesses
(“behind-the-meter”) in the form of, but not limited to, smart
thermostats, smart appliances, electric vehicles, and batteries.
These resources are a flexible electric load that can be dispatched
by the California Independent State Operator (CAISO), by PG&E,
or by a third party.
In 2021 PG&E had approximately 150 MW of VPPs making up its
energy supply portfolio (as dispatchable demand response), some of
which comes from pilots including the Emergency Load Reduction
Other PG&E VPP service offerings include the CAISO market
integrated Capacity Bidding Program for aggregators and the Smart
About the Emergency Load Reduction Program
The ELRP is a 5-year pilot program beginning in 2021 designed to
pay electricity consumers for reducing electricity consumption or
increasing electricity supply during periods of electrical grid
The purpose of the ELRP pilot is to offer a new tool for the
electric grid operators and utilities for reducing energy
consumption during a grid emergency to reduce the risk of
electricity outages when the available electricity supply is not
sufficient to satisfy the anticipated electricity demand.
The ELRP is managed by the State’s three large investor-owned
utilities (IOUs) – PG&E, San Diego Gas & Electric, and
Southern California Edison.
The ELRP is called upon during an emergency, or impending
emergency, grid situation issued by the CAISO.
Learn more about PG&E’s residential demand response and
energy incentive programs here.
For more information about PG&E’s ELRP and other business
energy incentive programs, visit www.pge.com/demandresponse
PG&E, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is a
combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16
million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central
California. For more information, visit pge.com and
version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20220707005833/en/
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