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Energy company subsidizes hundreds of Tesla Powerwalls to create ‘virtual power plant’


The Tesla Powerwall, a home battery pack, can be expensive. It starts at $3,000, but when you add an inverter and the installation, it can go up quickly. Eneco, an energy company and Tesla Energy distributor in the Netherlands, generally sells the device installed for €7,000, but through a new service called ‘CrowdNett’, the company reduced the price to €4,500 euro installed.

Rotterdam-based Eneco announced the new initiative today. Homeowners who decide to join CrowdNett authorize Eneco to manage a percentage of the energy stored in their home battery pack by charging or discharging at specific moments.

With a network of these batteries, Eneco can automatically supply reserve capacity to the national power grid.

The company plans to deploy 400 Tesla Powerwalls through the CrowdNett program. With a peak power output of 7 kW, it would give Eneco the potential capacity to shave 2.8 MW off the peak demand.

The Verge has more details on the compensations the participants can receive:

“CrowdNett participants will receive a payment of €450 a year for a guaranteed period of five years in return for 30 percent of each Powerwall’s capacity — an amount “you will barely notice in everyday practice,” according to Eneco.”

In other words, you forfeit control of 30% of your Powerwall, which you paid  €4,500 instead of €7,000, and you get €450 a year for at least the next five years. Would you take that deal? Let us know in the comments section below.

You must already have a solar installation on your roof in order to be eligible to the CrowdNett program. Eneco is launching the program in the Netherlands, where there are an estimated 400,000 homes already with solar panels installed, but the company plans on expanding to the rest of Europe.

Similar programs have started to appear in the US also. Green Mountain Power, an electric utility in Vermont, offers the Tesla Powerwall at a discount for customers who share access to the energy capacity with GMP.

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