Elon Musk Finished Building The World’s Biggest Battery In Under 100 Days
Never bet against Elon Musk. The man may be making ambitious claims within the technology world but it's a mistake not to take him totally seriously.
That's what we learned after the billionaire founder of Tesla and SpaceX made a promise to help South Australia after it suffered from blackouts due to power outages.
Musk gave his assurances to the Australian state back in March after Lyndon Rive, Tesla's vice-president for energy products, said it could provide South Australia with the 100-300 megawatt hours of battery storage it needed to solve its power woes within 100 days of a contract being signed.
He had such confidence in his company that he guaranteed fellow billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes that if it wasn't done in that time, it'd be free. The contract was signed on September 29 - and Musk was true to his word. Par for the course, really.
Tesla will get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free. That serious enough for you?
- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 10, 2017
The result is that South Australia now has the world's largest lithium ion battery, which is designed to store renewable energy gathered from wind farms and send it to the power grid when it's needed.
The battery will offer 'system security services' - that's back-up power - to around 30,000 homes, about the same number of homes as were affected by a long blackout in South Australia in September 2016.
Tesla's Powerpack system has now been installed and connected to the French renewable energy company Neoen's Hornsdale windfarm, which is north of Adelaide.
Tests will now be run on the battery to make sure that it meets regional and national regulatory requirements.
The battery is set to be launched by South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill as well as representatives from Tesla and Neoen next week. A statement on Weatherill's website praised the battery, saying it has "put South Australia and Jamestown on the map as a world leader in renewable energy".
Congratulations to the Tesla crew and South Australian authorities who worked so hard to get this manufactured and installed in record time! https://t.co/M2zKXlIVn3
- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 23, 2017
"While others are just talking, we are delivering our energy plan, making South Australia more self-sufficient, and providing back-up power and more affordable energy for South Australians this summer," Weatherill said.
"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 in renewable energy with battery storage.
"An enormous amount of work has gone in to delivering this project in such a short time, and I look forward to visiting Jamestown next week to personally thank those who have worked on this project."
The battery is set to begin operation next Friday 1 December and is believed to have cost at least $50 million in US dollars (£37.6m, A$65m).
I guess if you're Elon Musk, you can afford to gamble that much on a bet. Not that the outcome was ever in doubt.
Featured Image Credit: PA