The South Australian Government has launched a plan to install solar and battery systems on 50,000 homes across the state which will form the world’s largest virtual power plant.

The project will connect thousands of solar and battery systems to make one giant, coordinated virtual power plant.

The rollout will begin with a trial of 1100 Housing SA properties, with a five kilowatt solar panel system and a 13.5 kilowatt hour battery installed at no charge, and financed through the sale of electricity.

Systems will be installed at a further 24,000 Housing Trust properties, expanded to 50,000 homes over four years.

A registration of interest process has been opened for members of the public who wish to participate in the program.

The State Government will release a market notice for a retailer to deliver the program, with a preference of bringing a new player into the market.

Premier, Jay Weatherill, said more renewable energy means cheaper power for all South Australians.

“My Government has already delivered the world’s biggest battery, of now we will deliver the world’s largest Virtual Power Plant.” Mr Weatherill said.

“We will use people’s homes as a way to generate energy for the South Australian grid, with participating households benefitting with significant savings in their energy bills.

“Our energy plan means that we are leading the world in renewable energy and now we are making it easier for more homes to become self-sufficient.”

Analysis by Frontier Economics shows the 250MW plant is expected to lower energy bills for participating households by 30 per cent.

Additionally, all South Australians will also benefit from the increased generation in the South Australian energy mix, with lower energy prices and increased energy stability.

The State Government is assisting the rollout with a $2 million grant and $30 million loan from the Renewable Technology Fund.

The Smart Energy Council welcomed the announcement and will work closely with the South Australian Government to ensure the successful implementation of this important initiative.

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