More than 500 jobs expected to flow from world’s biggest Virtual Power Plant

5 February

The world’s largest Virtual Power Plant will create more than 500 renewable energy jobs, with local manufacturers set to play a key role.

It is anticipated that around 250 new jobs will be created through the installation of Tesla Powerwall 2 products on as many as 50,000 South Australian homes over the next four years.

Up to 260 extra jobs are expected to be created throughout the supply chain, with the Government’s contract with Tesla stipulating that local contractors must be used.

The State Government will also contribute $1.25 million to help South Australian businesses secure contracts on major renewable energy projects, like the world’s largest Virtual Power Plant.

The funds will help local companies meet costs when preparing their pitch for large-scale projects – costs which can inhibit the ability to grow their business.

Tesla have also confirmed they will establish a Service Hub at Tonsley – a commitment that falls within the Hornsdale Battery Project.

The Service Hub will allow for local technicians to monitor and service the Powerpacks in Hornsdale, along with the Superchargers that have been installed across the State, and the residential Powerwall installations – including those announced as part of the Virtual Power Plant.

The Tonsley-based Service Hub has the potential to service Tesla batteries throughout Asia Pacific, and will create additional local jobs – with an increasing number of South Australians developing expertise in renewable energy technologies, an ever-growing industry.

The Premier has also announced today that a re-elected Labor Government will expand the powers of the Ombudsman to give them prosecutorial powers, so they can act as an Energy Watchdog to get better deals for customers and hold the industry to greater account.

Yesterday, the State Government announced the creation of the world’s largest Virtual Power Plant, which following the success of the trial, will involve as many as 50,000 households with solar panels and batteries combining to create a 250mw power plant.

Over 6,500 South Australians have already registered an expression of interest to host a solar and battery system as part of the Virtual Power Plant.

Analysis by Frontier Economics shows the 250MW plant is expected to lower energy bills for participating households by more than 30 per cent.

Additionally, all South Australians will also benefit from the increased generation in the South Australian energy mix, with downward pressure on prices and increased energy stability.

Premier Jay Weatherill said more renewable energy means cheaper power for all South Australians, but it also means the jobs of the future.

“South Australian jobs are our number one priority, and I want South Australia to be the epicentre of the renewable energy industry,” Mr. Weatherill said.

“We want South Australian companies to reap the benefits of our major renewable energy projects, which is why we insisted upon local manufacturing for the Virtual Power Plant.”

Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis said renewables is a booming global industry and that the government wants as many jobs as possible created in this sector here in South Australia.

“With the Tesla battery at Jamestown in place, the Port Augusta solar thermal plant under development and now the world’s largest Virtual Power Plant announced, South Australia is leading the way in the storage of renewable energy.”