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Tesla Reports A Near-Term Enrollment Goal For Its New Texas Retail Provider

Reports Results From Its Aggregated Load Resource "Demonstration" In ERCOT

June 15, 2022

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Copyright 2010-21
Reporting by Paul Ring •

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In comments concerning distributed energy resources in ERCOT and aggregated load participation in the ERCOT market, Tesla reported a near-term goal for its recently created Texas retail electric provider, whose creation was exclusively first reported by on August 16 last year

As further discussed below, Tesla recently conducted a virtual power plant demonstration in ERCOT

In such "proof-of-concept" meant to demonstrate Aggregated Load Resource (ALR) response, Tesla noted that, at the time of the technical demonstrations, participating customers were served by multiple Retail Electric Providers (REPs).

Tesla acknowledged that actual ALR participation requires that all sites in an ALR be served by the same Load Serving Entity.

Tesla further noted that it has formed a REP, "and has a near-term goal of acquiring Powerwall customers in sufficient quantities to meet the ALR requirements."

Concerning the demonstration, Tesla's goal was to provide ERCOT with proof-of-concept data showing that behind-the-meter residential storage devices, in aggregate, are technically capable of following ERCOT SCED Base Point instructions and providing various Ancillary Services to support the electric grid.

Tesla began regular virtual meetings with ERCOT Staff to establish parameters for a proof of concept, similar to the work ERCOT Staff would do to study the potential resource if Tesla had directly attempted to register an Aggregated Load Resource (ALR) under the currently available and implemented market framework. As part of this process, Tesla said that ERCOT Staff agreed to review Tesla-provided data for a series of technical demonstrations using Tesla customer sites that consented to participate in the proof-of-concept of what an actual ALR would look like with the capabilities Tesla demonstrated.

ERCOT provided data representing actual dispatch signals, which Tesla engineers in turn used to execute test deployments of the customers that volunteered to participate in the proof-of-concept aggregation, to demonstrate the ability to comply with Market Rules in eventual participation as an ALR.

To create an aggregation consistent with a realistic ALR test resource, Tesla reached out to residential customers in competitive choice areas of the ERCOT Region who had acquired Powerwall batteries, usually in combination with rooftop solar panels (as noted above, these were customers of other REPs)

The test resource consisted of 61 residential sites with Powerwall batteries on site, with the Powerwalls capable of reducing the on-site residential Load to zero and also injecting energy to the grid. The aggregation also included 75 additional sites consisting of Loads that did not have any devices under control. These sites were present in the aggregation for purposes of ensuring that the resource always remained a net Load during the test period.

Tesla provided ERCOT with actual meter data from the on-site meters that are routinely installed alongside the TDSP revenue meter when a customer acquires a Powerwall battery and/or rooftop solar panels. These meters are capable of producing data at a far more granular level than the 15-minute TSDP meters; Tesla extracted data with a granularity of 5 seconds and submitted the data to ERCOT for review.

The demonstration included SCED Dispatch and Non-Spin Reserves, Regulation Service, Responsive Reserves, Primary Frequency Response, and Fast Frequency Response

Tesla said that the demonstration showed, among other things, the following:

• "Discharging from the customer's battery using a step function can clearly be identified in the premise-level data"

• In the demonstration, with respect to SCED Dispatch and Non-Spin Reserves, Tesla said that the aggregation responded to a total of 17 SCED Base Point instructions over the test period, using actual battery discharge (resulting in both offsets to on-site Load and energy injections to the grid), indicating compliance with Controllable Load Resource Energy Deployment Performance (CLREDP) requirements, "well within the parameters established in ERCOT Market Rules."

• With respect to Regulation service, Tesla said, "The aggregation responded to second-based LFC signals over that period, using both battery discharge (resulting in both offsets to on-site Load and energy injections to the grid), indicating compliance with Controllable Load Resource Energy Deployment Performance (CLREDP) well within the parameters established in ERCOT Market Rules."

• "The Tesla aggregation of batteries located on 61 sites in Texas was able to successfully follow a series of dispatch instructions as defined in the qualification tests for regulation-up and regulation-down, and therefore comply with the required response accuracy (< 3.5%)."

• "The Tesla aggregation of batteries located on 61 sites in Texas was able to successfully follow a recorded regulation signal from the front-of-meter Gambit Energy Storage site. Validation of this response was achieved by calculating the CLREDP, which was less than 6% (well below 15%, the CLREDP metric for an ERCOT Resource with Ancillary Service Responsibility)."

• "In general, an aggregation of batteries is particularly well-suited for providing regulation, because of its fast response time (< 5s) and high accuracy (< 3.5%) which does not change as the aggregation becomes larger."

• "Tesla's successful completion of its SCED/Non-Spin test provided evidence that the aggregation was also capable of meeting SCED requirements in RRS."

• "As a primary component of its RRS test, Tesla conducted tests providing evidence that its aggregation could qualify for PFR well within the requirements established in the Market Rules."

More details concerning Tesla's demonstration can be found here

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