Tesla CEO Elon Musk is at it again; and this time he’s putting his money and services where his mouth is. Musk publicly proposed in July that his company can install an energy storage system for South Australia within 100 days … or it’s free. On Friday, the agreement was officially signed and the clock is ticking.
Really, though, since the bid was won last summer, construction has already begun and is, in fact, about halfway completed.
This all came about after the region experienced a massive blackout recently. Following the blackout, Musk announced his company would build a functioning 129 megawatt-hour (MWh) battery facility within 100 days. If the company fails to complete the task within the stated timeframe, the job is free.
As cleantechnica.com reports:
Electricity demand in South Australia peaks during the summer, which is in December, so the state’s aim is for the facility to be up and running before then — so as to avoid last year’s electricity supply problems.
As implied above, since the bid was won back in July, Tesla actually began construction on the project a while back — with the project now approximately half complete, reportedly.
At an event highlighting the passing of the 50% complete mark, Elon Musk stated: “This is just the beginning. What this serves as is a great example of what can be done.”
As energymanagertoday.com reported back in July, businesses in South Australia may find themselves plagued by fewer weather-caused blackout issues, now that Tesla has won a government bid to build what would be the world’s largest lithium-ion battery. Tesla says the 100-megawatt energy storage solution will be completed by December, 2017.
The 100 MW/129 MWh Powerpack battery system will store wind energy from the Neoen Hornsdale Wind Farm and will speed the advancement of “a resilient and modern grid,” according to Tesla. The Powerpack will charge using wind energy and then deliver electricity during peak hours to help maintain the reliable operation of South Australia’s electrical infrastructure.
Last September, a 50-year storm damaged critical infrastructure in the area, causing a state-wide blackout. Further blackouts occurred in the heat of the Australian summer in early 2017.