Tesla Invites Californians to become part of the largest distributed battery in the world

By: Sharjeel Sohaib


Jul 7, 2022


With the launch of its new virtual power plant in collaboration with Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Tesla recently invited Californians to enroll in the Virtual Power Plant and participate in the Emergency Load Reduction Program (ELRP). This initiative aims to help keep California’s energy reliable and clean. 

The Emergency Load Reduction Program (ELRP) by Pacific Gas

Owners of Powerwalls will be able to choose to participate in the initiative to support grid stabilization and put an end to blackouts in California by using the virtual power plant. According to Tesla, participating in PG&E’s Emergency Load Reduction Program (ELRP) trial would allow individuals to help the grid while simultaneously receiving payment and keeping their energy security.

Every kilowatt-hour Powerwall users send back to the grid will reward them with $2.

This virtual power plant (VPP) initiative may apply to Tesla’s approximately 50,000 Powerwalls, representing a sizable energy capacity dispersed on the PG&E grid as needed.

Stabilize California’s Grid 

In a dire situation, the additional capacity a participant’s Powerwall offers may be able to prevent or lessen blackouts. In this manner, Powerwall may maintain power for the participant and their neighborhood.

Clean the Grid 

Tesla will send a participant’s Powerwall into service when the grid urgently needs more electricity. The least effective generators would generally start up at that time.

Maintain Energy Security: 

During VPP events, the Powerwall will discharge, but not below the Backup Reserve.


When the California grid operator, CAISO, issues an alert, warning, or emergency in response to difficult system circumstances, Tesla and PG&E will activate the virtual power plant. To achieve the program’s minimum requirement of 20 hours of activities, Tesla and PG&E may also schedule events at other times. Responses to CAISO Flex Alerts might be one of these different occurrences.

Before the Event: 

The participant will get a push message when an event is scheduled, notifying them of the times. After an event is booked, the participant may anticipate their Powerwall system to prioritize charging and prepare for it.

During the Event: 

The Powerwall will start discharging to support the grid as soon as the event starts, and the participant will get a push message informing them of the event finish time. The Powerwall will discharge until the event is over or until it reaches the chosen Backup Reserve level, whichever comes first. A manageable quantity of electricity, maybe comparable to the output of onsite solar, will be exported by Powerwall. The Powerwall’s total power capacity might not be shown here.

After the Event: 

The Powerwall will resume its regular operations after the event is over.

Participant Control: 

Powerwall offers the participant three ways to manage their involvement in VPP events: establishing the Backup Reserve, declining to participate in a specific event, and returning to regular operations.

Suspend Participation: 

Users of the Tesla app have the option to flip off participation. If this suspension takes place, neither the participant nor the Powerwall system will be informed of any activities that take place as planned. However, the member is still signed up for the program and may resume participation whenever desired by turning it back on.


The amount of compensation is determined by the owner’s system’s participation energy capacity, the quantity of Powerwalls, and their Backup Reserve. Owners who reduce Backup reserves make greater money.


PG&E will use their Powerwall data to determine the owner’s contribution and incentive payment after the season, which is generally around the end of the year. Tesla is issuing the payment, which should arrive by March 2023.

California’s Push toward Clean Energy through regional networks like SCEIN

The Southern California Energy Innovation Network (SCEIN) is a free program for startups developing solutions to help California meet its energy goals. It was set up through a grant from the California Energy Commission awarded in 2016.

Wrap Up

How could you refuse the chance to join the world’s most prominent distributed battery and contribute to California’s safe and dependable electricity supply? With the recent debut of its new virtual power plant in collaboration with Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Tesla has extended an invitation to Californians. This is an excellent opportunity for all Californians. 


  • Avatar Of Sharjeel

    Sharjeel joined Startempire Wire as emerging technologies editor. Earlier, he worked at Silicon Canals, a leading English language technology media source for the Benelux and wider Europe. He covered the European technology and startup ecosystem digging into latest funding rounds of startups.


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