The former Pretoria high-schooler and Tesla CEO has promised to deliver an unfathomably large 100-megawatt lithium ion battery to South Australia following a series of power outages in the region.
Just for context and to highlight the sheer scale of this project, the current largest battery of its kind is 30 megawatts.
Not content with re-writing the record books, Musk has also made his proposal into a wager: He has offered to charge Australia NOTHING for the project if it is not completed within 100 days.
South Australia has been crippled by blackouts in the last year, with the most notorious event happening in September when a freak storm was responsible for all power being lost in the state, taking electricity away from around 1.7 million people.
The government called for expressions of interest to deploy grid-scale energy storage options with at least 100 megawatts (MW) of capacity.
That’s when South African expat Elon Musk – who has lived in Canada and the USA since he left school – stepped in and made headlines, tweeting: “Tesla will get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free. That serious enough for you?”
It’s estimated to cost around $25 million (R334m) – and Musk’s eccentric promise has proved to be an offer the government can’t refuse, agreeing to a deal this Friday.
What the Tesla deal includes…
. Tesla was selected to provide a 100 MW/ 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, it said in a media statement today.
. Tesla Powerpack will charge using renewable energy from the Hornsdale Wind Farm and then deliver electricity during peak hours.
State Premier Jay Weatherill was convinced he’s done the right thing:
“It will completely transform the way in which renewable energy is stored, and also stabilise the South Australian network as well as putting downward pressure on prices.”
The technology going into the South Australian grid also collects and stores energy during the day, ready for it to be recycled for use during the evening.
The 100-day countdown has already started. The clock began ticking when Musk put pen-to-paper. Godspeed!