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How can Tesla Powerwall owners help prevent blackouts?

Answer: By putting their solar energy into the grid.

Electricity lines with a sunset in the background.
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Tesla is launching a beta program that will allow Californians who own the company's Powerwall battery to feed electricity back into the public grid during times of high demand to prevent blackouts. The Powerwall is a home battery that stores extra electricity generated from solar panels in order to power the home when panels aren’t generating enough electricity (like when it’s overcast, for example).

Those who sign up to participate will get a smartphone notification a few hours before an anticipated period of high demand and once the program begins. Participants won’t need to do anything — the system will automatically start feeding electricity from their Powerwall into the grid. Called the “Virtual Power Plant,” this beta program will test whether taking energy from Powerwalls is a viable option for preventing blackouts in California.

“As of launch, the Tesla Virtual Power Plant is a public good program to support the California grid, and there is no compensation for Tesla or customers,” Tesla said. The company did add that participants getting paid for the energy they provide is a “possibility in the future.”
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