The Government of South Australia and Tesla have launched a plan to install home solar and battery systems across the state as part of efforts to create a virtual power plant.

The plan is expected to cover a network of at least 50,000 households across South Australia over the next four years. The government expects to finance the scheme through the sale of electricity.

In the initial phase, the plan will be trialled by installing 5kW solar panel systems and 13.5kWh Tesla Powerwall 2 batteries at 1,100 Housing SA properties free of cost.

“We will use people’s homes as a way to generate energy for the South Australian grid.”

South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill said: “More renewable energy means cheaper power for all South Australians.

“We will use people’s homes as a way to generate energy for the South Australian grid, with participating households benefitting with significant savings in their energy bills.

“Our energy plan means that we are leading the world in renewable energy and now we are making it easier for more homes to become self-sufficient.”

Once the trial phase is completed, systems will be installed at an additional 24,000 Housing Trust properties and the deal will be extended to all South Australian households.

Based on analysis by Frontier Economics , participating households are expected to witness a 30% reduction in energy bills.

In addition, the plant will offer increased generation and increased energy stability.

The government is providing a $2m grant and $30m loan for the project from The Renewable Technology Fund .