More than 3,000 social housing tenants will soon join in Australia’s largest virtual power plant (VPP).

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced $8.2 million in funding to Tesla Motors Australia (Tesla) to deploy residential battery and rooftop solar systems at 3,000 properties owned by Housing SA across Adelaide.

As part of the South Australia’s Virtual Power Plant (SA VPP), Tesla will install 5 kW of rooftop solar and a 13.5 kWh Powerwall battery system at each property, at no cost to the tenant. The system will provide approximately 80 per cent of average household energy use.

Together with 1,100 systems already installed in a previous phase, the combined 20 MW / 54 MWh of residential energy storage will be used by Tesla in a centrally controlled VPP trial.

Housing SA tenants involved in the trial, like other renters, are usually locked out of being able to benefit from renewable energy. The tenants will benefit from cheaper household electricity bills, with the project offering electricity rates 22 per cent lower than the default market offer.

A VPP is a centrally-managed network of battery systems installed behind-the-meter that can be collectively controlled to deliver benefits to households, energy retailers and the local network.