California utility Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) is collaborating with Tesla on a pilot program that will combine thousands of Powerwall home battery systems to create a “virtual power plant” or “distributed battery.”

Tesla has invited some 25,000 PG&E customers with Powerwalls to join the program. PG&E residential customers are eligible for the program if they own a Tesla Powerwall, have an interconnection agreement with PG&E, and are not enrolled in other demand response programs.

Through the collaboration, Tesla will participate in PG&E’s Emergency Load Reduction Program (ELRP) pilot by combining residential Powerwalls into a virtual power plant to discharge power back to the California grid during times of high electricity demand. Participating customers will receive $2 for every incremental kilowatt-hour of electricity their Powerwall discharges during an event. They can use the Tesla app to set their backup power needs or to opt out of a particular event, as necessary.

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Tesla Reaches Out To 25,000 Powerwall Owners In Effort to Stabilize California Power Grid

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