electrek:

LUMA, a Puerto Rico electric utility, has received the green light to build a virtual power plant (VPP) with Tesla Powerwalls in Puerto Rico.

It should help with the territory’s major issues amid heat waves.

Puerto Rico was an early market for Powerwalls. Following the island’s electric grid being badly affected by a hurricane back in 2017, Tesla concentrated its at-the-time limited supply of Powerwalls to Puerto Rico.

Last year, Tesla said that Powerwalls were powering over 44,000 homes in Puerto Rico.

More recently, Drew Baglino, Tesla’s head of engineering, said VPPs would soon be coming to Puerto Rico and Texas, and he confirmed that Tesla had 350 MW of capacity in the former through Powerwalls. That would mean about 50,000 Powerwalls in the territory.

This week, the Puerto Rico Tesla VPP is becoming closer to reality as the local energy bureau issued a new order to authorize Luma Energy to build the Powerwall-backed VPP in Puerto Rico.

Arushi Sharma Frank, energy markets policy lead and senior counsel at Tesla, commented on the new order:

The order came the same day that Luma warned of potential brownouts throughout its network due to high demand because of a heat wave.

If the VPP were in operation, Tesla Powerwall owners could have potentially reduced the peak demand by up to 350 MW and potentially avoided brownouts in the territory.

Those owners would also get compensated for saving the grid on those occasions – making Powerwalls more financially viable.

Tesla’s California virtual power plant has already proved successful in its first year, and the company is also launching two new VPPs in Texas.

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MuskWire TLDR:

LUMA, a Puerto Rico electric utility, has been authorized to build a virtual power plant (VPP) in Puerto Rico using Tesla Powerwalls. This VPP aims to address the territory’s power issues during heat waves. Puerto Rico was one of the early markets for Powerwalls, with Tesla focusing its limited supply on the island after its electric grid was severely affected by a hurricane in 2017. Last year, Tesla announced that Powerwalls were powering over 44,000 homes in Puerto Rico. Drew Baglino, Tesla’s head of engineering, confirmed that the company had 350 MW of capacity in Puerto Rico through Powerwalls, equivalent to about 50,000 Powerwalls. The local energy bureau has issued an order to authorize Luma Energy to build the Powerwall-backed VPP, bringing it closer to reality. The authorization came on the same day that Luma warned of potential brownouts due to high demand caused by a heat wave. If the VPP were operational, Powerwall owners could potentially reduce peak demand by up to 350 MW and prevent brownouts. Owners would also be compensated for saving the grid, making Powerwalls more financially viable. Tesla’s California virtual power plant has already been successful in its first year, and the company is launching two new VPPs in Texas.