Tesla applies for UK power generation licence in VPP play

Tesla’s model S

Tesla Motors has applied for a UK power generation licence.

The company’s application, signed off by Tesla energy products sales director, Evan Rice, was published by energy regulator Ofgem.

The move suggests Tesla may be planning to build large-scale battery storage projects in the UK, as it has done in countries such as Australia, where it constructed a 100MW scheme in less than 100 days in late 2016.

However, it may mark Tesla’s first UK move into aggregation, as it eyes the virtual power plant (VPP) market.

The company’s ‘autobidder’ platform aims to make money from distributed batteries via real time trading and optimisation.

As well as its electric car business, Tesla also supplies battery storage for homes and businesses, plus solar roof tiles. The autobidder platform aims to harness everything from behind the meter home batteries to utility scale assets, bidding in flexibility to all available markets.

Some car manufacturers, such as Nissan, BMW, Honda and VW are also looking at building virtual power plants via their car batteries, or creating standalone energy businesses.

Meanwhile, other firms are aiming to build motorway style electric service stations with 350kW EV chargers that are powered by solar PV and large batteries as well as the grid.

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