KWM assists in bringing Tesla-led virtual power plant to South Australia

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King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) has advised the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) in relation to the financing of Phase 3 of South Australia's Virtual Power Plant (SA VPP), a network of solar and Tesla Powerwall home battery systems across the state that will form the world's largest virtual power plant when fully developed. 

The SA VPP project has so far involved the installation of 1,000 solar panel and Tesla Powerwall battery systems in SA Housing residences across the state and phase 3 of this project seeks to add a further 3,000 installed systems.  

SA VPP will bring together a centrally controlled group of solar-powered, battery-backed homes to act as a single "power plant", with the ability to send excess lower cost renewable energy to the grid. The virtual network will enhance SA grid stability and reduce electricity costs for Housing SA residents involved in the project. Residents who sign up for the special low electricity tariff will have 5kW in rooftop solar and a 13.5kWh Tesla Powerwall system installed in their home at no costs to them, giving them access to low cost green energy. 

SA VPP is also supported by grant funding by ARENA and the South Australian Government's Grid Scale Storage Fund.

The KWM team working on the transaction was led by partner Claire Rogers, senior associate Tim Stanton and solicitor Lily Rayment.  Tesla was advised by Pinsent Mason and JWS advised the SA Government.

Commenting on the project Claire said: "Achieving a virtual power plant of this scale has the potential to reduce electricity costs for many SA residents in addition to innovative storage methods that will also improve grid stability issues – we are delighted to be involved in this Australian first and to be part of bringing innovative electricity generation ideas to the domestic market."

The SA VPP ultimately aims to install 50,000 systems across South Australian households making it the largest virtual power plant in the world with an aggregate generation capacity of 250MW.