The world’s largest lithium ion battery has started providing electricity into the power grid in South Australia. This project is a collaboration between the American firm Tesla, French energy company Neoen, and the state government.
Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, though he was not present at the switch-on event, had promised to build the said battery in South Australia within 100 days. True enough, that promise was fulfilled. The 100-megawatt battery was officially activated recently. Musk mentioned that this battery was three times more powerful than the world’s next biggest battery. He also promised to deliver it for free if it was not built on schedule.
Tesla will get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free. That serious enough for you?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 10, 2017
Source: Twitter, Elon Musk
The South Australian state government hopes that this project will be able to prevent power outages since this could give out electricity rapidly when it is most needed and reduce prices.
Last September 2017, South Australia had suffered a state-wide power outage when storms damaged the electricity network. Jay Weatherill, the State premiere of South Australia, believes that the new battery would guarantee energy supplies.
“People were making fun of South Australia for its leadership in renewable energy and blaming it for the black-out,” Weatherill said. “That, of course, has now been debunked as a myth. We now know that our leadership in renewable energy is not only leading the nation but leading the world, and we are more than happy to supply our beautiful renewable energy stored in a battery to help out the national electricity market.”
Source: Huffington Post
The battery is located near Jamestown, around 200 kilometers north of Adelaide. The 100 megawatt lithium ion battery is connected to a wind farm that is run by the French energy company Neoen.
The farm has 99 wind turbines and is able to generate electricity which can be stored in the battery to serve 30,000 people for around an hour. As of now, the bulk of Australia’s electricity is still generated by coal, and the nation is one of the world’s worst per capita emitters of greenhouse gases. Hopefully, this battery will be the start of many efforts to help the country to switch to renewable energy.