Tesla Powerwall covers its monthly payment after VPP events


Tesla owner Mark Gillund of Sacramento, Calif., won’t pay his monthly solar and battery system payment out of pocket this month. Indeed, his home is part of Tesla’s Virtual Power Plant (VPP) in California, which is providing backup power to the grid as the state continues to deal with challenges posed by the recent heat wave.

Marc Gillund placed its order for a Tesla Solar + Powerwall system in June last year. By the second week of August 2021, her solar panels and batteries were installed, although the owner had to wait until early September 2021 before the system was actually on. The setup was quite impressive, with its 12.24 kWh solar panel, three Tesla Powerwall batteries and two inverters. This, according to Gillund, would be a good way to reduce her typical home electricity bill, which runs to about $650 a month during the summer.

The benefits of the Powerwall solar panels and batteries were immediately apparent, with the Tesla owner noting that his home’s electricity charges had dropped to just $10 minimum each month. So when Tesla launched its virtual California power plant, the owner of the Powerwall quickly opted in. With the rollout of the program’s $2 per kWh incentive, joining California’s VPP made even more sense.

As California faces a severe heat wave, the state’s grid has recently experienced its own share of challenges. Tesla’s virtual power plant in California quickly got to work, supplying the grid with backup renewable energy as needed. Lastbulb’s VPP tracker suggests that there are now more than 4,600 homes participating in California’s virtual power plant, and so far the system has delivered about 577 MWh of energy to the state’s grid.

Gillund’s Tesla Solar + Powerwall system participated in recent VPP events, returning 35 kWh to the grid during the September 9 event alone. Overall, the owner’s solar and battery system had sent out a total of 255 kWh during the current heat wave. This meant that the system was able to earn $510 in compensation with just one week of VPP events. This was more than enough to cover the monthly payment for Gillund’s entire solar and battery system.

As mentioned by Gillund at Teslarati, the monthly fee for his Powerwall and Solar loan is $400. This meant that as long as his house sent more than 200 kWh of electricity to the grid, the system could effectively pay for itself. In a way, that’s pretty much the icing on the cake for the owner, as his Powerwall and solar system had actually been positive so far.

Gillund was fortunate to receive a tax credit of $14,000 for his solar power and batteries, so he continues to pay monthly system costs with that amount. The system’s revenue from his home’s participation in California’s virtual power plant could then be seen as an extremely welcome supplement. It could also be proof that Tesla CEO Elon Musk was really onto something when he noted that renewable energy solutions could indeed become a kind of money printer.

Check out Gillund’s insights on CA VPP in the video below.

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Tesla Solar + Powerwall covers more than monthly payment after a week of VPP events

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Elaine R. Knight