Tesla wins 100-day bet to build 129 MWh battery in Australia
- Tesla has completed a 100 MW/129 MWh battery facility designed to stabilize the electric grid in South Australia. It installed the storage system as part of a high-profile wager that it could be done in 100 days or it would be free.
- In March, Tesla CEO Elon Musk declared the storage facility would be "built and working" within 100 days of contract signature. If he failed, Musk had promised to foot the bill for the $50 million project.
- The project is located at Neoen’s 315 MW Hornsdale wind farm. The French company will also operate the new battery installation, which will undergo testing and is expected to come online next month.
South Australia now reportedly contains the world's biggest lithium-ion battery storage system, even if it won't hold that title for long.
On Thanksgiving, Musk tweeted, "congratulations to the Tesla crew and South Australian authorities who worked so hard to get this manufactured and installed in record time!"
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
With the system scheduled to come online Dec. 1, Tesla will easily beat its self-imposed 100-day target. The countdown began Sept. 29 when Tesla signed a grid connection agreement, though it had already installed half the battery packs by then, Reuters reported.
The new system exceeds San Diego Gas & Electric's 120 MWh Escondido storage facility. However, two other Australian energy projects could soon eclipse Tesla's achievement. In Brisbane, renewable energy firm Lyon group earlier this year announced plans for a 100 MW/400 MWh battery storage system at a wind facility. And Queensland's SolarQ is planning a lithium storage system of up to 4,000 MWh to be paired with a 350 MW solar facility.
Before SDG&E's Escondido project came online, Tesla briefly held the distinction for its 80 MWh facility for Southern California Edison.
South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill said that "while others are just talking, we are delivering our energy plan ... 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,” The Guardian reports.
The 129 MWh Tesla facility must now be tested before it comes online later this week.
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