Tesla quietly built a virtual power plant in Japan: how it works

Tesla has launched a virtual power plant in Japan, consisting of Powerwall batteries.

In 2021, Tesla installed more than 300 Powerwall batteries in homes on Miyakojima Island without making the work public. The local power company Miyakojima Mirai Energy Co. provided equipment free of charge to homeowners as part of its program. According to Tesla, in the end, together with a partner, she managed to launch the largest commercial virtual power plant.

Virtual power plants use solar panels and batteries in private homes. With the permission of property owners, they can send surplus electricity to the local grid so that neighbors can use it in the event of a blackout or overload of full-sized gas-fired power plants. Outages at Miyakojima are frequent due to typhoons, but now Powerwall solar panels provide continuous power to local residents even during bad weather.

“During typhoons there is light, refrigerators work as usual. What could be better?” Powerwall user shared.

Tesla is promising to install 400 more Powerwalls in Japan by the end of the year and 600 more batteries by the end of 2023. The company then plans to expand its network to the entire Okinawa prefecture, which spans a string of islands between mainland Japan and Taiwan.

According to The Verge, Tesla has already launched virtual power plants in Australia and California (USA), soon promises to add another one to the power grid in Texas, where failures also occur. It’s worth noting that in California, consumers receive $2 for every kilowatt-hour of electricity that is returned to the grid during times of high demand due to emergencies or high demand.


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