Date
12 December 2017
The Powerback battery backup system will store electricity from a new wind farm and supply some 30,000 homes for more than an hour in South Australia. Photo: Tesla
The Powerback battery backup system will store electricity from a new wind farm and supply some 30,000 homes for more than an hour in South Australia. Photo: Tesla

Tesla builds world’s biggest battery in less than 100 days

 

Tesla Inc. has delivered a Powerback battery backup system that will store electricity from a new wind farm and supply some 30,000 homes for more than an hour in South Australia, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The system’s 100-megawatt capacity makes it the world’s largest, tripling the previous record held by a similar facility at Mira Loma in Ontario, California, also built by Tesla and US power company Edison, the newspaper said.

The Australia state tapped Tesla in July, after a tender to build a large-scale power storage system connected to the A$33 million (US$25.15 million) Hornsdale wind farm, which is being built by French company Neoen in the Flinders Ranges.

The facility’s completion in 99 days means Tesla founder and chief executive Elon Musk has won a bet he made in March to deliver a working system in “100 days from contract signature or it is free”, WSJ said. The battery is said to cost US$50 million.

Musk had made the bet in response to a Twitter challenge from Australian IT billionaire and environmentalist Mike Cannon-Brookes to help fix electricity problems in South Australia, which relies heavily on renewable energy, after crippling summer blackouts left 1.7 million people without power, some for weeks, the Journal said.

Cannon-Brookes then brokered talks between Musk and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who has faced criticism from climate groups for winding back renewable-energy policies in favor of coal.

“An enormous amount of work has gone into delivering this project in such a short time,” the newspaper quoted state Premier Jay Weatherill as saying on Thursday,

Weatherhill said the system is a clear message that South Australia will be a leader in renewable energy.

Musk tweeted: “Congratulations to the Tesla crew and South Australian authorities who worked so hard to get this manufactured and installed in record time!”

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