ELON MUSK: 'Australia rocks!!'

Elon Musk, founder and CEO of Tesla. Photo: Jay Weatherill/ Twitter

Elon Musk has arrived in Adelaide to announce that his company, Tesla, will build the world’s largest lithium ion battery for South Australia.

The historic agreement between French renewable energy provider Neoen, the South Australian government, and Tesla will put South Australia at the forefront of global energy storage technology.

The 100MW/129MWh battery, paired with Neoen’s Hornsdale wind farm, 230km north of the capital, Adelaide will have the ability to power 50,000 houses.

“This will be the highest power battery system in the world by a factor of 3. Australia rocks!!” he tweeted on Friday.

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.

South Australia was left without power — some parts for days — in September last year after the state was smashed by storms that brought wind gusts exceeding 120km/h.

It was later found to be largely due to unplanned power plant or transmission outages, but it triggered a political row at state and federal level over energy security.

Read Tesla’s full statement below.

Last September, a 50-year storm damaged critical infrastructure in the state of South Australia, causing a state-wide blackout and leaving 1.7 million residents without electricity. Further blackouts occurred in the heat of the Australian summer in early 2017. In response, the South Australian Government as a leader in renewable energy, looked for a sustainable solution to ensure energy security for all residents, now and into the future, calling for expressions of interest to deploy grid-scale energy storage options with at least 100 megawatts (MW) of capacity.

This week, through a competitive bidding process, Tesla was selected to provide a 100 MW/129 MWh Powerpack system to be paired with global renewable energy provider Neoen’s Hornsdale Wind Farm near Jamestown, South Australia. Tesla was awarded the entire energy storage system component of the project.

Tesla Powerpack will charge using renewable energy from the Hornsdale Wind Farm and then deliver electricity during peak hours to help maintain the reliable operation of South Australia’s electrical infrastructure. The Tesla Powerpack system will further transform the state’s movement towards renewable energy and see an advancement of a resilient and modern grid.

Upon completion by December 2017, this system will be the largest lithium-ion battery storage project in the world and will provide enough power for more than 30,000 homes, approximately equal to the amount of homes that lost power during the blackout period.

Working in close collaboration with the South Australian Government and Neoen, this grid scale energy storage project is not only sustainable, but will help solve power shortages, reduce intermittencies, and manage summertime peak load to improve the reliability of South Australia’s electrical infrastructure. In addition, Tesla’s Powerwall is now being installed for residential customers across Australia and ramping up quickly. The same technology that can help stabilize the South Australian grid can also be used by homeowners to collect energy during the day so it is stored and made available day and night, providing uninterrupted power even if the grid goes down.

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.

NOW READ: Tesla will build the world’s largest lithium ion battery to keep the lights on in South Australia

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