What can I expect my Powerwall to do when there is an event?
You will receive push notifications informing you when an event is scheduled and when it begins. Events will be scheduled a few hours prior to discharge, and discharge will typically take place during the grid’s peak hours in the afternoon.
Tesla will securely command your Powerwall to discharge to the grid up to the maximum power approved by your utility. Most Powerwalls will discharge at levels similar to peak solar production on summer days. Prior to some events, your Powerwall may reduce the power it provides to your home to maximize the amount of energy it can discharge during the upcoming event.
Can I opt-out of dispatches?
Yes — during an event, you can increase your backup reserve level to limit your Powerwall’s discharge. Prior to an event, you can tap the VPP switch off to opt-out. As the Tesla Virtual Power Plant (beta) continues to evolve, you can expect to have more ways to control your participation.
How do I ensure that I will have enough energy for backup power?
A push notification will inform you that there will be a VPP event. You can adjust your backup reserve level then or at any time, based on your own risk of outage.
If rotating outages occur due to grid emergencies, and your home is in a curtailed block, an outage can last about 1 to 1½ hours. Other grid blackouts or Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events may be longer in duration. If outages are planned, check with your utility for the expected duration.
If an outage occurs during the event, your Powerwall will still provide you with energy security using its stored energy.
Will participation in this program impact my electric bill?
Tesla expects most events this summer to occur during typical peak hours for many time-of-use rate plans. Participating in the event will shift energy exports to periods that are later in the day compared to typical exports. If you are eligible for compensation under a NEM program, you may earn different credit for exporting at different times.
Does Tesla earn money from the Tesla Virtual Power Plant in California?
As of launch, the Tesla Virtual Power Plant is a public good program to support the California grid, and there is no compensation for Tesla or customers. While customer compensation for this program is a possibility in the future, in the meantime customers are encouraged to participate in the program and mobilize the excess capacity of their Powerwall systems.
Why am I not eligible to enroll in the Tesla Virtual Power Plant at this time?
Tesla is working with utilities and regulators to make the Tesla Virtual Power Plant the largest distributed battery system possible, but it also needs to address immediate needs. If you are a California Powerwall customer but you are not eligible to enroll in the Tesla Virtual Power Plant at this time, Tesla may need to coordinate with your utility, or your Powerwall may already be in another program supporting the grid. Tesla will continue working to expand the Tesla Virtual Power Plant across California.
Why is this a beta program?
Tesla has introduced the California Virtual Power Plant in anticipation of potential grid emergencies this year. As the summer season progresses, we may modify the program, Powerwall behavior and app controls to meet the shifting needs of the grid.