After winning the Australian tender to install the world’s largest grid scale battery, the provision of emergency back-up power for South Australia’s fragile power-grid is now in the hands of Elon Musk’s Tesla and French Wind-farm developer, Noeon.
South Australia, a state known for its history of power failures, now gets Tesla Inc. (TSLA.O) to back them up through a 100 day commitment given by the company in March this year. According to the agreement, Tesla has to deliver a massive 100MW lithium-ion battery that will serve as an emergency backup for South Australia within 100 days of signing. Elon Musk made his commitment public on Twitter, stating that he’d be handing over the battery free of cost if Tesla fails to deliver on time.
South Australia’s approach towards using renewable sources of energy like wind, solar and gas by shutting down its coal-fired stations in the past three years made the country increasingly prone to power failures. Despite being applauded by multiple environmentalists, moving towards a more renewable way of living has left 1.7 million South Australian residents with the problematic scenario of facing regular blackouts, for up to two weeks in some cases, especially when the grid overloads. With the lithium-ion battery project being the largest in the world, Tesla hopes to be able solve the state’s outrageous power conundrum although there have been questions regarding its completion time and reliability.
The still-under-construction battery is guaranteed to provide emergency back-up power for 30,000 households in case of power failures. Lyon Group a privately owned organization working with U.S. power company AES Corporation (AES.N), showed interest in the project along with other 10 companies from all over the world.
Musk was quoted saying, “This system will be three times more powerful than any system on earth. This is not a minor foray into the frontier. It is going three times further into the frontier than anyone has gone before.” Furthermore, according to the Tesla founder, failing to complete the project in the 100 day time period would cost his company $50 million or more.
Image Source: reuters.com