Hello and welcome back to “What’s Up Tesla.” I’m excited that the kids are out of school, and that summer has arrived. Here in Texas, it seems every summer I hear a similar sentiment, “This one is going to be a hot one!” This summer Texas could meet power demands better because Tesla is offering ERCOT an immediate solution.
Some weeks ago, Texans were warned by ERCOT, “With unseasonably hot weather driving record demand across Texas, ERCOT continues to work closely with the power industry to make sure Texans have the power they need. This afternoon, six power generation facilities tripped offline resulting in the loss of approximately 2,900 MW of electricity. At this time, all generation resources available are operating. We’re asking Texans to conserve power when they can by setting their thermostats to 78-degrees or above and avoiding the usage of large appliances (such as dishwashers, washers, and dryers) during peak hours.”
During this hot summer, Tesla is fully prepared to step in with a smart solution to the problem. I learned details about this during a Workshop I attended on May 31. “Tesla Virtual Power Plant Workshop, Related to OBDRR041” was hosted by ERCOT and led by leaders at Tesla Energy.
Tesla Powerwall owners are an important and untapped resource for energy
Tesla Powerall owners are an important but untapped resource for energy. Minor changes to ERCOT’s current practices can ensure a stable grid in Texas. Owners could act as an aggregate source of power, forming a Virtual Power Plant. Tesla built a demonstration test in which 64 Tesla Powerwall battery owners participated in providing energy as an aggregate. The demo showed impressive performance, proving that there were no technical blocks to these owners providing power to the Texas grid.
Tesla is requesting for ERCOT to allow all interested Powerwall owners to contribute to the Texas grid as a combined cluster. All that is needed are minor changes to ERCOT’s current practices. Tesla’s slide presentation for their “Virtual Power Plant Workshop, Related to OBDRR041” was well done and informative. I am sharing some of it here:
Problem Statement Texas needs all available, affordable, dispatchable electric capacity/resources mobilized to address grid reliability challenges Distributed energy resources are available today, but are unrealized dispatchable assets to ERCOT Short-Term Solution Minor changes to an existing, unutilized ERCOT market design concept developed 9 years ago, could immediately unlock grid reliability services from small distributed energy resources that can be dispatched as an "aggregation"
Tesla is offering a proven solution to the fragile Texas grid, currently operated by ERCOT. Tesla proved that their Virtual Power Plant can work extremely well. Their VPP can act fast, respond to load demand, and thus ensure that Texans’ energy needs are met. All that is needed is a small change in ERCOTS’ current practices for this to be a reality.
Tesla’s powerful energy software has precise capabilities to deliver stored energy to power a homeowner’s home and electric car, keep power stored up and also send energy to most local utilities for their use. However, as Arushi Sharma Frank, Tesla Policy/Energy, explained clearly via twitter after the workshop, “Nothing in Texas today lets homes behave like a hive mind and deliver clean MWs 24x 7 to the grid.” She explained that the main thing slowing down Tesla from unleashing this powerful lifesaving technology is “technical acrobatics.”
I listened to some of these “technical acrobatics” during the workshop, and as the minutes wore on, I was invited to comment.
I took the opportunity to explain that as a Texas-Registered Nurse, I am in the business of caring for families, some of whom were deeply affected by the last severe power outage in February 2021. I explained that since Tesla has already demonstrated that they can provide power reliably through volunteer Tesla Powerwall owners, there should be no delay in allowing full participation as soon as possible. As a healthcare provider, I advocate for people in need. Having power is important to people’s health.
Gail Alfar, [Edited by Sarah Alfar] Exclusive to What’s Up Tesla – This blogpost was created utilizing STARLINK satellite services. All Rights Reserved. June 4, 2022