Tesla flips on the world's largest lithium ion battery

Gladys Abbott
December 2, 2017

Musk promised to build the 100-megawatt battery within 100 days of the contracts being signed at the end of September or hand it over to the South Australia state government for free.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk boasted a year ago that he'd make the battery in 100 days or it's free, and he did it with more than a month to spare.

The rest of the country will be looking at the Musk's battery and how in performs in South Australia with the country overall facing an energy crisis with a system that is "among the world's costliest and dirtiest", and "annoyingly unreliable", wrote Australian Financial Review in October.

The Tesla Powerpack will be charged using power generated by the Hornsdale wind farm.

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Weatherill came under fire a year ago after the entire state went black following a major storm, and raced to shore up the state's grid with a A$510 million ($385 million) plan, including ordering the big battery and installing diesel-fueled turbines.

The battery farm is part of a 550 million Australian dollar ($420 million) plan announced in March by Weatherill to make the state independent of the nation's power grid. However, the battery is more likely to be called into action to stabilize electricity supplies at less critical times. The idea was that the battery would have the capacity to power over 30,000 homes in the event of severe blackout for at least an hour.

The two made the bet after Brookes challenged Musk to solve South Australia's energy woes.

The world's biggest lithium-ion battery has plugged into an Australian state grid, an official said Friday, easily delivering on Tesla Inc. chief executive Elon Musk's 100-day guarantee. That's great news for a transition to renewables, but the wind is not always blowing; over the past 18 months, the region has suffered a series of blackouts. Kathpal, who is also chairman of the U.S. Energy Storage Association, has said that investing so heavily in energy storage is an important piece of Australia's continued commitment to renewable energy.

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