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Tesla Makes Pitch to Turn Texas Homes Into ‘Virtual Power Plants’

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(Bloomberg) -- Tesla Inc. is hoping to turn some Texas homes into “virtual power plants” after tests showed its home batteries can be quickly tapped to reduce stress on the state grid.

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Tesla is making the push after trying a project that pooled together 64 northern Texas homes outfitted with rooftop solar and Powerwall batteries. The pilot project showed that the setup can tap spare battery capacity and provide grid services within seconds, executives said Tuesday at a grid workshop hosted by Elon Musk’s company.

Tesla is advocating for rule changes with the main Texas grid operator to set terms on how owners of such residential batteries can participate in the power market and be compensated. Households received gift cards for their role in the pilot project. A residential program could be rolled out within a year if the Electric Reliability Council of Texas approves, Arushi Sharma Frank, Tesla’s US energy markets policy lead, said during Ercot’s virtual workshop.

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