Elon Musk’s Tesla has won a tender to supply what the billionaire says is the world’s largest lithium-ion battery to back up the state of South Australia’s blackout-plagued power grid.
Tesla will provide 100MW (megawatts) of storage by December 1, pairing it with a wind farm north of Adelaide operated by France’s Neoen, said South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill. The system, which will have capacity of 129MW hours, will provide enough power for more than 30,000 homes.
“We’re talking about something that’s three times as powerful as the next biggest battery installation in the world,” Mr Musk said.
Mr Musk had previously promised to build the system and get it working within 100 days of a contract being signed or Tesla would provide it free, a vow he backed up yesterday.
“We actually insisted when doing the contract that we be held to the 100 days or it’s free. That’s what we said publicly, that’s what we’re going to do,” he said.
Palo Alto, California-based Tesla, best known for its all-electric Model S car, aims to be in the front ranks of the emerging energy storage market. Besides offering the residential energy storage units known as the Powerwall to customers, Tesla is making much larger-scale energy storage systems known as Powerpacks for commercial businesses and the world’s utilities.
The same lithium-ion battery technology that powers Tesla’s cars is being used to integrate growing amounts of solar and wind onto electric grids, and the company’s stated mission is to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy”.
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