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Elon Musk delivers on South Australia battery promise – testing underway

Elon Musk promised it within 100 days and he has delivered. The world’s largest lithium-ion battery will be charged up in the coming days and will be ready deliver power to South Australia from 1 December.

The astonishing speed at which agreement was reached, followed by the installation of the giga-battery and connection to a wind farm should put our politicians to shame.

Elon Musk even won a bet which started on Twitter, stating that if the project was not completed within 100 days, Tesla would provide it for free.

Compare that to the endless flip-flops, U-turns, CETs and NEG’s involving the Federal Government over the past years and you might get an idea of how we ended up with the highest electricity prices in the world.

Elon Musk battery connected to wind farm

Musk’s $65 million battery is found just North of Adelaide, in Jamestown and will be connected to a 99-turbine facility run by French company Neoen in Hornsdale. 

The array will be capable of an output of 100 megawatts (MW) of power at a time and the huge battery will be able to store 129 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy so, if used at full capacity, it would be able to provide its maximum output for more than an hour.

Elon Musk
Source: Tesla

It is understood that everything is in order and that SA Government and Australian Energy Market Operator engineers will be involved in the testing phase to ensure that the plant conforms to standards.

Elon Musk battery to be launched next week

SA Premier Jay Weatherill is expected to officially launch the battery project next week. The battery will run continuously and provide background security to the electricity system when shortfalls arise.

At least 70 per cent of the stored power will be reserved for use by the state government to put into the electricity grid.

Under the agreement between Mr Musk and the State Government, if the battery was not delivered by Tesla within 100 days of the grid interconnection agreement being signed, it would be free.

However, the project will easily meet that deadline as that agreement was signed on September 29.

The lithium-ion battery is reportedly three times more powerful than any other system on Earth.

The battery is part of the State Government’s $550 million energy plan, which was put together in the wake of a statewide blackout in September last year and load shedding in February.

Mr Weatherill said the battery would make SA “more self-sufficient” and provide backup power over summer when high temperatures raise the risk of further blackouts.

In a statement released on 23 November, Mr Weatherill said: “South Australia is set to have backup power in place this summer through the world’s largest lithium-ion battery, which is set to be energised for the first time in the coming days as it enters a phase of regulatory testing.”

Elon Musk – One of the world’s visionaries

Elon Musk is one of the world’s most successful and conscientious businessmen. He was a founder of payments company PayPal, electric carmaker Tesla Motors and SpaceX, maker and launcher of rockets and spacecraft.

He is also chairman of SolarCity, a solar panel installer recently bought by Tesla.

Mr Musk has envisaged Tesla as a company that can help reduce emissions by not only selling people electric cars but also generating and storing the solar energy that powers them.

Australia is one of the world’s worst per capita greenhouse gas polluters due to its heavy use of coal-fired power.

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