Join Tesla & PG&E to Create a Virtual Power Plant
Powerwall can support your state while earning you compensation and maintaining your energy security. Help create the largest distributed battery in the world and keep California’s energy clean and reliable.
Opt-in to the Tesla Virtual Power Plant (VPP) pilot with PG&E and earn as much as $10 per event for your participation. Through the pilot, you will receive $1 for every additional kWh your Powerwall delivers during an event. Adjust your Backup Reserve in the Tesla app to set your contribution while maintaining backup energy for potential outages.
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 help 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 and avoid use of inefficient generators.
- 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 in the Tesla app to control your contribution while maintaining backup energy for outages.
- Earn Compensation: Through the Tesla & PG&E VPP pilot, you will receive $1 for the incremental kWh that your Powerwall provides during events. You are not required to change your energy usage behavior to participate.
When an event is scheduled, 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 energy use from the grid 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 continue to 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.
Tesla and PG&E will call upon the VPP when the California grid operator, CAISO, declares an alert, warning or emergency in response to challenging grid conditions. Tesla and PG&E may also call events at other times. These additional events may be necessary to prove the effectiveness of VPPs and ensure that participants have an opportunity to earn compensation in the Tesla & PG&E VPP pilot, even if no grid emergencies occur.
The Tesla & PG&E VPP pilot will have a minimum of 20 hours of events in 2021.
The Tesla & PG&E VPP pilot will compensate you $1 for the incremental kWh that your Powerwall delivers during events. You have the potential to earn more compensation by participating in all events and reducing your Backup Reserve to only the amount you expect to need.
Your compensation depends on several factors, including:
- How many Powerwalls you own and your Backup Reserve, since this determines the total capacity you can provide during an event.
- The size of your solar system, since your solar system charges your Powerwall. The VPP will only export as much power as your solar system does in order to minimize negative grid impact while providing support.
- Your Powerwall’s typical behavior, since the program only pays for incremental kWh excluding the energy that your Powerwall would have delivered in the absence of the event.
Considering these factors, compensation earned during an event will vary from customer to customer. For reference, a two-Powerwall system that can deliver half of its energy capacity may earn approximately $10 per event.
The Tesla & PG&E VPP pilot is available to PG&E residential customers who own Powerwall and solar and who are not on a medical baseline energy rate. Participants must not be part of a conflicting program, which may include another virtual power plant or demand response program run by PG&E, a Community Choice Aggregator or another party. Enrolling requires the Tesla app version 4.0.1 or later.
If you are running Tesla app version 4.0.1 or later, but are not seeing reference to the PG&E pilot when tapping ‘Learn More’ under the Tesla VPP section in the app, PG&E and Tesla may be unable to verify your eligibility. You can call PG&E at (800) 743-5000 to inquire about your eligibility for the pilot.
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 ‘Settings.’
Step 3: Scroll down to ‘Tesla Virtual Power Plant.’
Step 4: Tap the switch on, and follow the prompts to enroll.
How do I suspend my Powerwall’s participation in the Tesla Virtual Power Plant?
Step 1: Open the Tesla app, and switch to your home.
Step 2: Tap ‘Settings.’
Step 3: Scroll down to ‘Tesla Virtual Power Plant.’
Step 4: Tap the switch off to suspend the Powerwall’s participation.
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 when possible, 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. You can also tap the VPP Virtual Power Plant 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.
How will I get compensated?
At the end of the VPP pilot (toward the end of the year), PG&E will calculate your contribution and incentive payment based on your Powerwall data. You can expect to receive payment from Tesla before the end of February.
Tesla & PG&E Virtual Power Plant Pilot Customer Participation Agreement
Thank you for your interest in Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) Demand Response Emerging Technology Battery for Load Management Study (Study) implemented by Tesla, Inc. (Tesla). The Study involves only residential PG&E-selected participants who have one or more Tesla Powerwall(s) (Device) Tesla can remotely control during Demand Response (DR) events (Event). Participation is subject to your agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions with PG&E and Tesla (Terms).
By clicking “Accept Enrollment” or “Accept Updated Terms”, you (“Participant”) acknowledge that you have read these Terms and agree to be legally bound by them.
PG&E in its sole discretion shall determine Participant’s eligibility to participate in the Study and shall have the right to not select Participant for any reason. Notwithstanding the foregoing, to be able to participate the Participant must:
a. Receive electric service on a PG&E residential rate schedule and not receive service pursuant to Medical Baseline or Life Support rate schedules, where continuous service is necessary and critical.
b. Have a PG&E electric SmartMeter that is read remotely and approved for electric grid interconnection and exports under PG&E Electric Rule 21.
c. Participant is not and will not enroll or participate in any other PG&E DR program, Community Choice Aggregator, DR Auction Mechanism Seller, or third-party DR program while participating in the Study.
Participant should not participate in the Study unless Participant has the authority to control the Device and is the customer of record for the utility account associated with the address at which the Device is installed. By accepting these Terms, Participant confirms that Participant has that control and is the customer of record in that manner, and that Tesla and PG&E can rely on those confirmations in connection with the Study.
- Participant Device Control Requirements
By accepting these Terms, Participant grants each of PG&E and Tesla remote access to control on an exclusive basis the enrolled Device to enable Tesla during an Event to automatically charge and/or discharge the Device during the Study. Participant will have the ability to set a minimum level of charge as a backup reserve (“Backup Reserve”). Tesla will not draw Participant Device’s state of charge below Participant’s designated Backup Reserve and will not discharge Participant’s Device when the state of charge is below the Backup Reserve. Except for honoring Participant’s Backup Reserve, Tesla may charge or discharge Participant’s Device at any time and to any level.
- Study Term
The Study begins upon the Participant’s acceptance of these Terms and will continue until midnight of February 28th, 2022, unless expressly extended by PG&E or terminated sooner.
The Study will only compensate the Participant $1 for every incremental kilowatt-hour PG&E and/or Tesla discharges from Participant’s Device during the Study Term. Tesla will pay the Participant any compensation earned upon the completion of the Study and later than midnight on February 28th, 2022. Those payments, if any, are the only compensation that Participant will receive from Tesla and PG&E for its participation in the Study. Participant is responsible for all other costs that may involve participating in the Study, including but not limited to, the cost of electricity to charge Participant’s Device and the general use of Participant’s Device.
- Participant Device Data and Other Information
- No Warranty; Disclaimer
PG&E and Tesla expressly disclaim all warranties of any kind relating to the Study, whether express, implied or statutory including but not limited to any implied warranties for conditions, merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title, non-infringement or misappropriation of intellectual property rights.
- Limitation of Liability
In no event will Tesla or PG&E be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, special, or consequential damages, arising in connection with the Study, including but not limited to Participant’s Device reduced charge during a power outage causing a loss of power or any other loss of power for whatever reason. If Participant is dissatisfied with the Study, any of these Terms, or believes Tesla or PG&E has breached these Terms in any way, Participant’s sole and exclusive remedy is to discontinue participation in the Study.
PG&E or Participant may terminate Participant’s participation in the Study at any time for any reason, by PG&E providing notice to the Participant or the Participant sending an email to Tesla – pgeVPP@tesla.com. Participant will receive compensation owing under Section 5 of the Terms for participation in the Study up until the date of termination.
a. Entire Agreement. These Terms are the entire agreement between PG&E, Tesla and Participant concerning the Study’s eligibility and participation requirements.
b. No Assignment. These Terms may not be assigned by Participant without PG&E’s prior written consent.
c. Severability and Waiver. If any provision herein is invalid or unenforceable, the remaining provisions will remain in full force and effect.
d. Survival. Termination in the Study will not affect the obligations and rights under these Terms which are intended to survive such termination.
e. Governing Law. This Agreement is governed by California law.
- Tesla Arbitration Requirement
Agreement to Arbitrate
Please read this part carefully because it means you are agreeing that any unresolved dispute between you and Tesla will not be decided by a judge or jury in a public courtroom, but instead by a single arbitrator in a private arbitration.
If you have a dispute arising out of or relating to any aspect of the relationship between you and Tesla, Inc. or its affiliates (which we call “Tesla”), please send us an email to email@example.com, describing your dispute and how you would like it resolved. If it is not resolved within 60 days from the date of your email, you agree that your dispute can only be resolved by a single arbitrator in an arbitration administered by the American Arbitration Association (AAA) under its Consumer Arbitration Rules. This includes claims arising before you ordered your System (such as claims related to statements Tesla made about our products). We will pay all AAA fees for any arbitration, which will be held in the city or county of your legal residence. To learn more about the Rules and how to begin an arbitration, you can call any AAA office or go to www.adr.org. The arbitrator can only resolve disputes between you and Tesla, and cannot consolidate claims from others without consent from you, Tesla, and the others. You can only bring claims in arbitration against Tesla in your individual capacity and not as a plaintiff or class member in any class or representative action (and the same is true for Tesla). If a court or arbitrator decides that any part of this agreement to arbitrate cannot be enforced as to a specific claim for relief or remedy (such as what lawyers call “injunctive” or “declaratory” relief), then that claim or remedy (and only that claim or remedy) will be carved out of the arbitration and can be filed in court; all other claims must be arbitrated. If you prefer, you can take your individual dispute to a small claims court instead. If you don’t want to agree to arbitration, you can "opt out” of arbitration by sending us a letter within 30 days after placing your initial order for your System. Please send the letter to Tesla, Inc.; P.O. Box 15430; Fremont, CA 94539-7970 and include your name, your order number, the name of the product you ordered, and a statement explaining your desire to opt out of arbitration. If you do not opt out, your agreement to arbitrate overrides any different arbitration agreement between us, including any arbitration agreement in a lease or finance contract.