Tesla Refers to South Australia As Benchmark For Renewable Energy for the World

South Australia (SA) is being singled out by Tesla as a spot for the “future.” During the company’s Investor Day presentation, SA was referred to as a benchmark for the world. 

Andrew Baligno, the senior vice president of Powertrain and Energy Engineering at Tesla said, “Australia is a little bit of a special case, they represent the future—South Australia in particular—solar and wind supplied 70 per cent of South Australia’s energy in 2022. 

Tesla’s large battery reserve helps supply 70 per cent of the grid’s energy from renewable sources, but this also benefits owners. 

The company gathered information from 5,000 customers in SA to know the financial benefits of their electric products, such as its well-known Tesla Powerwall battery and its solar arrays. 

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A soft spot for SA

Tesla has long had a soft spot for SA and that is because it is where the company has had many of its significant milestones. SA is the home of the Tesla Big Battery, known as the Hornsdale Power Reserve

What’s even special about this is that the Tesla Big Battery is the first to deliver synthetic inertia to the grid at scale. It is also where they tested their virtual machine mode. 

SA is also where the company built its first and biggest virtual power plant through Powerwall 2 batteries in over 5,000 homes. 

Indeed, the state plays a significant role in Tesla’s plans to use battery storage to replace fossil fuels and reach the goal of having the grid operating on 100 per cent renewables. 


These major milestones have been vital to the company with its plans to speed up its production of stationary battery storage. 

The head of Tesla Megapack, Mike Snyder said, “We have one grid operator that’s utilising virtual machine mode, and they say they will not operate their grid at 100 per cent renewables unless they have this feature unless they have virtual machine mode working.”

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Consumers benefit too!

Also, even amid the energy crisis that made prices skyrocket, Tesla’s experience with the SA’s virtual power plant (VPP) generated huge savings for customers in 2022. 

The average cost of electricity for their customers had been $140 a month, whilst for those with solid and a Powerwall with the battery not integrating with the grid much, the cost falls to approximately $70 a month. 

On the other hand, if the software was engaged to operate as a VPP, the costs may result into a revenue of $61 a month. 

Baglino said, “We can actually pay the customers to bring their energy services to the grid.”

Bidirectional charging trial is underway in SA

Also, during the Investor Day event, Tesla confirmed that all EV models will support bidirectional charging functionality by 2025. 

According to Baglino, “We’ve found ways to bring bidirectional while actually reducing the cost of power electronics in the vehicle. And at all things Tesla, the goal is usually to get more for less.”

He continued, “And so, we are in the middle of a kind of power electronics retool I would say that would bring that functionality to all of our vehicles over the next two years.” 


In SA, trials are already underway through three compatible models: the Nissan Leaf EV, Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross PHEV, and Outlander PHEV. 

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