Billionaire Elon Musk obviously didn’t need to win a $50 million bet, but of course he was up for the challenge. The adventure began when Musk vowed to build the world’s largest lithium-ion battery designed to power up to 50,000 homes in the blackout-laden state of South Australia. The area, which is prone to windstorms, desired not only a renewable but reliable alternative, and Musk vowed to design and deliver a 100MW/129MWh battery capable of providing an annual 1,050,000 megawatt hours of renewable electricity. In September, the Tesla founder even promised that the task would be complete within “100 days from contract signature or it’s free.”
South Australian Premiere Jay Weatherill has now announced that Musk easily beat his self-imposed deadline, which will set up the state with back-up power for the most destructive windstorms. The battery will soon be energized while regulatory testing commences:
Tesla Powerpacks, connected to Neoen’s Hornsdale windfarm, have now been fully installed on site, with the testing phase ensuring the battery is optimised and meets AEMO and South Australian Government requirements.
Throughout this testing period, the battery will be providing system security services to South Australia.
The cost of building the battery was estimated at $50 million, hence the bet amount, and although Musk recently revealed himself to be obsessed with finding a life partner, keeping that extra cash in the bank might ease his pain, ever so slightly.
Tesla representatives, along with Premier Jay Weatherill and South Australian power officials, will launch the massive battery next week.