In September this year, Elon Musk had pledged to solve Australia’s power-crises by building a 100-megawatt battery in 100 days – or it would be free. Today, on 23rd November, less than 3 months after the contract was signed, Tesla completed construction of the battery that will power South Australia into the future. The battery pack is also the world’s largest single lithium-ion energy storage project. It is a scaled up model of the Tesla “Powerpack”.
Tesla began testing the battery pack today and has entered a phase of “regulatory testing” before its release on December 1, 2017, according to a statement from the local government.
The press release adds that Tesla Powerpacks, connected to a windfarm operated by Australian company Neoen’s Hornsdale, have now been fully installed on site. The testing phase will ensure that the battery is optimised and meets Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and South Australian Government requirements.
Tesla CEO and frontman Elon Musk made the offer in March on Twitter and promised to deliver the battery within 100 days of signing the contract. South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill had said at the time that the Government had about 91 international bidders for the battery project.
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The countdown started at the end of September after the company finalised a deal with the South Australian government. Musk delivered on his promise in a little over 2 months, and well short of the self-imposed 100-day deadline. The battery is estimated to cost more than $50 million.
Elon Musk said, in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, that the next largest battery storage solution is 30 MW – which means Tesla’s battery in Australia is over 3 times as large as the next closest project.
“The world’s largest lithium ion battery will be an important part of our energy mix, and it sends the clearest message that South Australia will be a leader [sic] renewable energy with battery storage,” said South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill in a press release. “An enormous amount of work has gone in to delivering this project in such a short time.”
This project is expected to permanently resolve entirely the power crises that the state of South Australia has been facing in the past few years. The model can likely be duplicated for the state of Victoria.
It is also a historic milestone in the path for clean energy and environmental. Australia is a world leader in the campaign for renewable energy production. According to a report in The Australian, the last coal-fired power station in South Australia recently shut down.