Tesla To Build World's Largest Lithium-Ion Battery For Australian Power Grid

Elon Musk does nothing in halves. The Tesla CEO recently promised to deliver the world’s largest lithium-ion battery to South Australia. He has also promised to build the battery in “100 days or it's free”.

The 100-megawatt (129 megawatt hour) battery will be “three times more powerful” than any other system and will store energy from Neoen's Hornsdale Wind Farm near Jamestown, roughly 130 miles north of Adelaide. The pack can be charged when there is an excess of power and discharged when production costs are high. Musk noted that the battery will “stabilize the grid and buffer power” and ultimately lower power costs for the consumer.

elon musk adelaide australia
Credit: ABC

Why has Musk promised to build the battery in 100 days? South Australia had been battling blackouts since September 2016. The state government subsequently promised to build a 100-watt battery and operate a $360 million gas-fired plant to combat the region’s power issues. Mike Cannon-Brookes, Australian co-founder of Atlassian, informed Musk about South Australia’s problem and the government's unique solution.

Musk initially made the pledge this past March over Twitter. The South Australian government had ninety-one bidders from all over the world, but Musk’s promise caught their eye. If Musk does not make good on his promise he could potentially lose more than $50 million. His reasoning, however, is “if South Australia is willing to take a big risk, then so are we”.

Jay Wilson Weatherill, the Premier of South Australia, remarked that the battery “will completely transform the way in which renewable energy is stored, and also stabilize the South Australian network as well as putting downward pressure on prices”.

Musk also hopes that the battery will become a tourist destination. He plans to make the battery look like “nicely arranged white obelisks” in order to impress visitors.

The project should be completed by December.