Tesla Virtual Powerplant

Tesla Virtual Power Plant pilot


Ampol is working with Tesla and Enerven to pilot a virtual power plant (VPP) that can reduce our Scope 2 emissions and create new earnings opportunities over the longer term through aggregated participation in the electricity market and network services. The project involves the installation and connection of solar panels and Tesla Powerwall batteries at retail sites, capturing energy that will initially be used to reduce emissions and operating costs.

This infrastructure has the long-term potential to power and accelerate the development of electric vehicle charging to customers across Ampol’s retail network and to generate new earnings opportunities by trading electricity to third parties. One option is to use the aggregated capacities of multiple sites to provide grid stabilisation services to network operators.

Ampol has signed an agreement with Enerven to install the technology at three trial sites in South Australia. Should the trial be successful and the solution scalable, Ampol will examine the possibility of a broader rollout and the establishment of its own registered VPP.

The pilot installation at each retail site will be created through the installation of between 6–9 Tesla Powerwalls and between 55–99 kW of solar panels. At the three trial sites, the infrastructure will reduce electricity consumption by between 30 and 60 per cent and reduce carbon emissions by between 22 and 41 tonnes per year.

This opportunity aligns with Ampol’s intention to move into the electricity market to meet future energy needs of our mobility customers. We will use our assets to reduce costs and emissions and to monetise distributed energy resources for electricity price risk management, while testing the potential cost and customer opportunity through the integration of EV charging.

Combined solution to extract value

Tesla Virtual Power Plant Diagram

Energy Storage Systems (‘Hardware’)

A well-designed and optimised energy storage system (ESS), such as Tesla Powerwalls, can deliver multiple benefits, i.e. ‘stacking services’.

Extracts value from ‘behind-the-meter’ services (demand charge reduction) and ‘VPP-enabled’ market-facing or network-initiated activities (wholesale electricity arbitrage and FCAS1).

  1. Frequency control ancillary services.
Ampol Refinery workers

Virtual Power Plant (‘Software’)

Cloud-based network of Distributed Energy Resources (DER) ( i.e. solar + battery) working together as a single power plant by:

  • Aggregating capacities of DERs to form a power generation asset.
  • Orchestrating power generation, storage and use across several sites enabling the monetisation of our generated electricity.