Tesla Wins The Bet: ‘World’s Biggest Battery’ Project Completed Within 100 Days
On September 29, 2017, Elon Musk signed off a contract and promised to switch on the “world’s biggest battery” within 100 days. On December 1, 2017, with 40 more days to go, Tesla delivered.
Dialing Back a Year
In September, 2016, a storm that involved over 80,000 lightning strikes and at least two tornadoes rampaged across South Australia knocking down dozens of transmission lines and leaving at least 1.7 million without power for a day. This wasn’t the last of South Australia’s power troubles, with more power cuts sweeping the region in December due to storms and blackouts cased by heat waves later in February.
While the government was formulating a solution, Lyndon Rive, the head of Tesla’s battery division claimed the company could build out 100 to 300 MW of batteries in 100 days and solve South Australia’s power problems in one stroke.
In March, Australian billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes took to Twitter to ask if they were serious
Here’s what Elon Musk had to say in response
The South Australian government, later that month, unveiled a $550 million energy plan meant to respond to the crisis and stabilize the grid going forward. Part of that plan involved contracting for around 100 MW of energy storage. This was Elon’s golden chance, which he grabbed by outbidding the competition in July for the entire energy-storage portion of the project. Tesla signed the contract on September 29, kicking off the 100 days.
On November 23, 2017, the battery bank was finished.
On December 1, 2017 Tesla officially inaugurated the world’s biggest lithium ion battery in South Australia, with 40 days to spare.
The World’s Biggest Battery
The battery bank, comprising of Tesla power packs, is located in the Hornsdale Wind Farm. The Hornsdale Wind Farm is an electricity generator located in the locality of Hornsdale in the south-west of the Narien Range, north of Jamestown, South Australia. When completed, it will consist of 99 wind turbines with a generation capacity of 315 megawatts (422,000 hp). The plant is owned and operated by Neoen, a French renewable energy company. Neoen contracted with Tesla for storage to create the “Hornsdale Power Reserve.”
The 100 MW/129 MWh powerpack battery system stores energy generated by the wind farm and is capable of providing electricity for as many as 30,000 homes, for about an hour, according to a BBC report.
“South Australia is now leading the world in dispatchable renewable energy,” the state’s premier, Jay Weatherill, said in a statement Friday. “This is history in the making.”
Tesla and Elon Musk sure do take their bets seriously. Hey Elon, I bet you can’t make me a billionaire in 100 days!
The Underground Army extends a congratulatory pat to everyone involved. Cheers!