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Levelling Latin America
Mining innovation can bring more sustainable and inclusive growth, especially across the Americas…

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  • A mystery source is producing banned ozone-destroying chemicals
  • Water filter inspired by Alan Turing passes first test
  • Scientists transplant memory from one snail to another
  • In an interplanetary first, NASA to fly a helicopter on Mars
  • Facebook privacy: Europe to press Zuckerberg
  • Israeli researchers abuzz about orgasmic fruit flies
  • The world's biggest 'virtual power plant' developed in Australia
    Elon Musk's company, Tesla, is working with the South Australian government to turn 50,000 homes into what they're calling a 'virtual power plant'.

    Each home in the project will be equipped with a 5kW solar panel system and a 13.5kWh Tesla Powerwall 2, at no cost to the resident and funded entirely by the sale of excess electricity. These houses will become an interconnected power plant network.

    Musk has already made quite an impact on the state after he installed the world's largest lithium ion battery there last year. At 100 megawatts when fully charged, the Tesla Powerpack provides enough power for 8,000 homes for 24 hours, or 30,000 homes for an hour, in the event of a power failure.

    The virtual power plant is not just for emergency situations, but for regular, day-to-day power requirements as the state seeks to move away from fossil fuels and into more sustainable electricity.

    The trial, across 1,100 public housing properties, has already commenced. Systems are ready to be installed at a further 24,000 public housing properties, after which the program will be opened to all households in South Australia. Participation will, the government estimated, lower energy bills by 30%.

    Across 50,000 homes, the virtual power plant will have 250 megawatts of solar energy, and battery storage of 650 megawatts.

    Science Alert    February 05, 2018