Energy Support

Join the Tesla Virtual Power Plant (Beta)

The California grid operator forecasts a continued need for Californians to support the grid through 2021. Help create the largest distributed battery system in the world and avoid dependence on the least efficient fossil fuel power plants. Opt-in to the Tesla Virtual Power Plant (VPP), and Tesla will dispatch your Powerwall when the grid needs support while continuing to maintain your energy security.

Benefits of Participation

  • Stabilize California’s Grid: The extra capacity your Powerwall provides could help avoid or reduce blackouts in a severe emergency. This way, Powerwall can keep the lights on for both you and your community.
  • Clean the Grid: Tesla will dispatch your Powerwall when the grid is in critical need of additional power. That is when the least efficient generators would typically come online.
  • Unite as a Tesla Community: Team up with other Powerwall owners who are accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy and help form the largest distributed battery in the world — potentially over 50,000 Powerwalls. As part of the VPP, your Powerwall will have an outsized positive impact on the grid over traditional demand response programs.
  • Keep Your Energy Security: Powerwall will discharge during VPP events but won’t discharge below your backup reserve. Adjust your backup reserve to control your contribution while maintaining backup energy for outages.
  • Export Credits During Peak Periods: You don’t need to change your home energy usage behavior to participate. Additionally, if you’re part of a net energy metering (NEM) program, you may earn net metering credit for your energy sent to the grid during events.

Event Behavior

A few hours prior to an event, you will receive a push notification informing you of event times. Depending on the forecasted severity of the event, your Powerwall may prioritize charging from your solar system in advance of the event to help shift your home’s grid use to earlier in the day. If Powerwall fully charges before an event, your solar system will resume powering your home and export any excess power to the grid.

When the event begins, you will receive a push notification reminding you of the event end time, and your Powerwall will begin discharging to support the grid. Your Powerwall will discharge until the event ends, or when it discharges to your selected backup reserve level. No action is required on your part to participate in the event, but you may raise or lower your backup reserve level at any time during the event.

Eligibility

The Tesla Virtual Power Plant is available to PG&E, SDG&E and SCE customers who own Powerwall and solar. Enrolling requires the Tesla app 3.10.14 and a new Powerwall firmware version which will be released soon.

Note: Some utilities may place additional limits on participation.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tesla VPP

How do I enroll in the Tesla Virtual Power Plant?

Step 1: Open the Tesla app, and switch to your home.

Step 2: Tap ‘Customize.’

Step 3: Scroll down to ‘Tesla Virtual Power Plant.’

Step 4: Tap the switch on, and follow the prompts to enroll.
 

How do I unenroll in the Tesla Virtual Power Plant?

Step 1: Open the Tesla app, and switch to your home.

Step 2: Tap ‘Customize.’

Step 3: Scroll down to ‘Tesla Virtual Power Plant.’

Step 4: Tap the switch off to opt-out.

You may tap the switch back on at any time during the program.

What can I expect my Powerwall to do when there is an event?

You will receive push notifications informing you when an event is scheduled and when it begins. Events will be scheduled a few hours prior to discharge, and discharge will typically take place during the grid’s peak hours in the afternoon.

Tesla will securely command your Powerwall to discharge to the grid up to the maximum power approved by your utility. Most Powerwalls will discharge at levels similar to peak solar production on summer days. Prior to some events, your Powerwall may reduce the power it provides to your home to maximize the amount of energy it can discharge during the upcoming event.
 

Can I opt-out of dispatches?

Yes — during an event, you can increase your backup reserve level to limit your Powerwall’s discharge. Prior to an event, you can tap the VPP switch off to opt-out. As the Tesla Virtual Power Plant (beta) continues to evolve, you can expect to have more ways to control your participation.
 

How do I ensure that I will have enough energy for backup power?

A push notification will inform you that there will be a VPP event. You can adjust your backup reserve level then or at any time, based on your own risk of outage.

If rotating outages occur due to grid emergencies, and your home is in a curtailed block, an outage can last about 1 to 1½ hours. Other grid blackouts or Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events may be longer in duration. If outages are planned, check with your utility for the expected duration.

If an outage occurs during the event, your Powerwall will still provide you with energy security using its stored energy.
 

Will participation in this program impact my electric bill?

Tesla expects most events this summer to occur during typical peak hours for many time-of-use rate plans. Participating in the event will shift energy exports to periods that are later in the day compared to typical exports. If you are eligible for compensation under a NEM program, you may earn different credit for exporting at different times.
 

Does Tesla earn money from the Tesla Virtual Power Plant in California?

As of launch, the Tesla Virtual Power Plant is a public good program to support the California grid, and there is no compensation for Tesla or customers. While customer compensation for this program is a possibility in the future, in the meantime customers are encouraged to participate in the program and mobilize the excess capacity of their Powerwall systems.
 

Why am I not eligible to enroll in the Tesla Virtual Power Plant at this time?

Tesla is working with utilities and regulators to make the Tesla Virtual Power Plant the largest distributed battery system possible, but it also needs to address immediate needs. If you are a California Powerwall customer but you are not eligible to enroll in the Tesla Virtual Power Plant at this time, Tesla may need to coordinate with your utility, or your Powerwall may already be in another program supporting the grid. Tesla will continue working to expand the Tesla Virtual Power Plant across California.
 

Why is this a beta program?

Tesla has introduced the California Virtual Power Plant in anticipation of potential grid emergencies this year. As the summer season progresses, we may modify the program, Powerwall behavior and app controls to meet the shifting needs of the grid.


Tesla Virtual Power Plant Agreement

Thanks for agreeing to support the California electrical grid using your Tesla Powerwall. This Agreement describes the terms you are agreeing to by participating in the "Tesla Virtual Power Plant."
 

  1. Tesla Virtual Power Plant
    You agree to allow Tesla to control your Powerwall, including charging and discharging, to provide support to the electrical grid. You have the ability to set a minimum level of energy as a backup reserve ("Backup Reserve"). Tesla will not draw your Powerwall’s state of charge below your Backup Reserve, and will not discharge your Powerwall when the state of charge is already below the Backup Reserve. Except for honoring your Backup Reserve, Tesla may charge or discharge your Powerwall at any time and to any extent.
     
  2. Voluntary Program
    Unless Tesla notifies you otherwise, the Tesla Virtual Power Plant is a voluntary program to support the electrical grid when it is stressed. You will not be compensated for participating, including for the electricity to charge your Powerwall or the use of your Powerwall. Tesla may determine to compensate Tesla Virtual Power Plant participants in the future, and will notify you of applicable compensation at that time.
     
  3. Term
    Your participation in the Tesla Virtual Power Plant program will run from the time you opt in through the Tesla app, until you opt out or the Tesla Virtual Power Plant program concludes. You may opt out of the Tesla Virtual Power Plant at any time, using the Tesla app. In addition, Tesla may remove you from the Tesla Virtual Power Plant at any time for any reason.
     
  4. Conflicting Programs
    If you are already participating in a separate demand response or similar program, the Tesla Virtual Power Plant may conflict with that program. By opting into the Tesla Virtual Power Plant, you agree that Tesla is not responsible for any conflict with such a program. If Tesla becomes aware of such a conflicting program affecting your Powerwall, we may remove you from the Tesla Virtual Power Plant.
     
  5. Consent; Privacy Policy
    You agree that Tesla can disclose information about you and your Powerwall to your utility, as appropriate to administer the Program. That data may include, but is not limited to, information about your home’s energy usage, and information produced by your Powerwall. Tesla and your utility may disclose the same data, in anonymized form, to regulators and the public. Tesla’s Customer Privacy Policy is part of this Agreement and can be viewed at www.teslamotors.com/about/legal.
     
  6. Limitation of Liability
    You agree that your and Tesla’s total liability for all damages of any kind arising out of this Agreement will not exceed $500. You also agree that neither you or Tesla will be liable for any incidental, special or consequential damages arising out of this Agreement. You acknowledge that as a result of participating in the Tesla Virtual Power Plant, your Powerwall may have a reduced charge during a power outage, and you may lose power. Tesla will not be liable for any loss of power relating to the Tesla Virtual Power Plant.
     
  7. Governing Law
    This Agreement is governed by California law.
     
  8. Agreement to Arbitrate
    Please carefully read this provision, which applies to any dispute between you and Tesla, Inc. and its affiliates (together “Tesla”).

    If you have a concern or dispute, please send a written notice describing it and your desired resolution to resolutions@tesla.com.

    If not resolved within 60 days, you agree that any dispute arising out of or relating to any aspect of the relationship between you and Tesla will not be decided by a judge or jury but instead by a single arbitrator in an arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association (AAA) under its Consumer Arbitration Rules. This includes claims arising before this Agreement, such as claims related to statements about our products.

    We will pay all AAA fees for any arbitration, which will be held in the city or county of your residence. To learn more about the Rules and how to begin an arbitration, you may call any AAA office or go to www.adr.org.

    The arbitrator may only resolve disputes between you and Tesla, and may not consolidate claims without the consent of all parties. The arbitrator cannot hear class or representative claims or requests for relief on behalf of others purchasing or leasing Tesla products. In other words, you and Tesla may bring claims against the other only in your or its individual capacity and not as a plaintiff or class member in any class or representative action. If a court or arbitrator decides that any part of this agreement to arbitrate cannot be enforced as to a particular claim for relief or remedy (such as injunctive or declaratory relief), then that claim or remedy (and only that claim or remedy) shall be severed and must be brought in court and any other claims must be arbitrated.

    If you prefer, you may instead take an individual dispute to small claims court.

    You may opt out of arbitration within 30 days after signing this Agreement by sending a letter to: Tesla, Inc.; P.O. Box 15430; Fremont, CA 94539-7970, stating your name, product and intent to opt out of the arbitration provision. If you do not opt out, this agreement to arbitrate overrides any different arbitration agreement between us, including any arbitration agreement in a lease or finance contract.
     
  9. Authority
    By opting into the Tesla Virtual Power Plant program, you represent that you own or have authority to control your Powerwall, and that you own the utility account associated with the address at which the Powerwall is installed. You agree that Tesla may rely on your representations in this Section 9.