Elon Musk just promised to fix Australia’s blackout problem in 100 days — or its batteries are free

Elon Musk. Picture: Getty Images.

Tesla reckons its batteries could resolve Australia’s blackouts.

The company’s energy products vice-president Lyndon Rive said earlier that a roll-out of up to 300 megawatts of grid-scale battery storage could be achieved in just 100 days at a cost of about $66 million per 100 megawatts, and would be enough to prevent a blackout from occurring.

This piqued the interest of Atlassian co-founder and co-CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes.

“Lyndon & @elonmusk – how serious are you about this bet? If I can make the $ happen (& politics), can you guarantee the 100MW in 100 days?” he tweeted.

In return Musk gave him a promise that is worth $198 million.

“@mcannonbrookes Tesla will get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free. That serious enough for you?” he replied.

Cannon-Brookes was ecstatic.

“@elonmusk legend! ☀️ You’re on mate. Give me 7 days to try sort out politics & funding. DM me a quote for approx 100MW cost – mates rates!” he tweeted.

Since then Cannon-Brookes said he has been inundated with expressions of support from Australian businesses.

Cannon-Brookes told Business Insider in an email:

I’ve been inundated with support — my phone is on fire!

Both from individuals in terms of “hell yes!” and from corporates who are asking: “Can we buy power? Can we contribute dollars?

I’m excited and pumped to make this happen.

Previously on Twitter Cannon-Brookes had been rallying support behind the challenge put out by Rive.

“They put out the challenge. I say as a nation we should take them up on it,” he said.

“Pretty sure people of Adelaide sick of blackouts & being told renewable targets are to blame.”

Adding on Twitter that he was in for a big night.

And others had jumped on Twitter to back him up.

Grattan Institute energy program director Tony Wood told the Sydney Morning Herald he was sceptical about such larger-scale proposals.

“If Tesla think they can do that, what’s stopping them? Providing they aren’t asking the government for some sort of subsidy and want to risk their own money, fantastic,” he said.

In September last year South Australia was smashed by a 1-in-50-years storm that brought wind gusts exceeding 120km/h and left the state without power. For some this lasted a number of hours, in other areas it lasted several days.

The disaster resulted in a bitter political fight over the state’s renewable energy policy.

It was later found to be largely due to unplanned power plant or transmission outages.

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