Elon Musk arrived in Adelaide to announce that his company, Tesla, will build the world’s largest lithium-ion battery for South Australia.
South Australia already has over 35% of its energy provided by wind and another 20% by solar. Over 20% of all houses have PV solar panels. On good days they often provide 100% of the states electricity needs from only renewable energy. However, fossil fuel gen sets are still needed to balance the grid. This projects along with several other thermal electric and pumped hydro solutions could see the state achieving 100% renewable energy by 2040.
- Tesla and French energy company Neoen are building the world’s largest lithium ion battery for South Australia
- Elon Musk is in Adelaide to make the announcement
- The 100MW/129MWh battery will operate at all times and be connected to a wind farm
- The system will be installed before December 2017
- If the system is not operating within 100 days, Tesla will provide the infrastructure for free
Telsa will build the world’s largest lithium ion battery for South Australia under a historic agreement between French renewable energy provider Neoen, the South Australian government, and Elon Musk’s company.
The partnership is the result of a bet taken by Tesla’s founder and CEO, Musk, in March, in which he said Tesla could deliver an operational battery-powered energy system to the state that would prevent blackouts within 100 days, or it would be free.
That wager still stands and the start of the 100 days will be marked once the grid interconnection agreement has been signed.
The 100MW/129MWh battery from Tesla, paired with Neoen’s Hornsdale wind farm, 230km north of the capital, Adelaide, will put South Australia at the forefront of global energy storage technology.
Comments from Elon Musk
At the event in Adelaide on Friday Musk said he and his team had to consider the risks of the project before agreeing to the deal because of the sheer scale.
“We thought about this and there certainly are some risk (sic) because this is going to be the largest battery destination in the world by a significant margin,” he said explaining that it is bigger 70 megawatts bigger than its nearest competitor at 30 megawatts.
“This system will be three times more powerful than any system on earth. This is not a minor foray into the frontier. This is going three times further than anyone has gone before.”
The project is the result of a bet he made on Twitter with Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes in March, that Tesla could install an operational battery system that would solve South Australia’s energy problems in 100 days.
He said that if he was unsuccessful the batteries would be free.
He says he insisted that the 100-day rule be included in the official contract, “because that’s what we said publicly what we were going to do.”
“I’d also like to thank Mike Cannon-Brookes for [talking about it] on Twitter,” he said.
When asked how much it would cost him if the project wasn’t delivered on time, Musk said: “A very large sum of money. Probably $US13 millions or more. A lot.”
He said the total sum of the project would be released at South Australia’s discretion.
“Tesla is proud to be part of South Australia’s renewable energy future, and we expect this project will provide a model for future deployments around the world that will help significantly accelerate the adoption of sustainable energy,” Tesla said in a statement on Friday.