Tesla Partners with CenterPoint Energy and More to Develop Virtual Power Plants in Texas

Tesla has joined a task force chaired by CenterPoint Energy that aims to launch an Aggregated Distributed Energy Resources (AEDR) pilot project in the state of Texas (via @SawyerMerritt).

Among other things, the program seeks to create a model for virtual power plants (VPPs) to export energy to Texas’ energy grid.

A VPP is a network of arbitrarily connected battery systems that stores power generated by alternative methods like solar or imported from the local grid when electricity costs are low. When the grid is under load during times of peak consumption, power stored by the VPP is exported to meet demand and participants are paid for the energy they provide.

Earlier this year, Tesla launched a VPP initiative in California in partnership with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). Well over 1,500 Tesla Powerwall users have already enrolled in the California VPP.

The Texas task force comprises over 20 companies, led by CenterPoint Energy’s Jason Ryan. Tesla’s Arusi Sharma Frank has signed on as Vice Chair.

Tesla and CenterPoint Energy are joined by transmission and distribution service providers like CPS Energy and Banera Electric Cooperative, retail electric providers like Shell and Octopus Energy, and more than a dozen others.