Texans can now sign up to use solar-powered batteries and other energy devices to make money in the state’s power markets, under a pilot program approved by state regulators in October. So-called virtual power plants aggregate hundreds or thousands of buildings with controllable energy equipment, like batteries charged by rooftop solar. Households and businesses can sign up with participating electricity retailers if they live in parts of the state that feature competitive electricity providers, or enroll with their municipal or cooperative utility if it chooses to participate. Electric car-maker Tesla is enrolling Powerwall battery customers in its virtual power plant. Customers of Octopus Energy with an Enphase battery can knock $40 off their monthly power bill by letting Octopus use the battery for wholesale market activities. David Energy offers commercial electricity and residential retail service at a ​“friends and family” rate. Solar-storage company Sunrun thinks the policy offers a model other states should follow. ​

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