The world's largest lithium-ion battery has been connected to an Australian state network, an official said today, easily complying with the 100-day guarantee from Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk.
Musk promised to build the 100-megawatt battery within 100 days after signing the contracts at the end of September or hand it over to the state government of South Australia for free.
South Australia's Prime Minister Jay Weatherill announced Friday that the battery began sending power to the state network on Thursday afternoon, providing 70 megawatts when temperatures rose above 30 degrees C (86 degrees Fahrenheit) .
"South Australia now leads the world in renewable, distributable energy, delivered to homes and businesses 24 hours a day, every day," Weatherill said.
The official launch came a little over 60 days after the signing of the agreement. But, what is more important, the first day of the Australian summer arrived, the season in which the consumption of energy shoots up due to the use of air conditioning.
Tesla says that the battery has the capacity to feed 30,000 homes for up to an hour in the event of a severe blackout, but it is more likely to call for action to increase supply during periods of increased demand.
Battery power packs are installed near the Outback town of Jamestown, about 200 kilometers (120 miles) north of Adelaide, the state capital.
They store the energy generated by the neighbor Hornsdale Wind Farm, owned by the French company of renewable energy Neoen, to provide greater reliability and stability to the state network.
Tesla partnered with Neoen to build the battery, which is more than three times larger than the previous record holder in Mira Loma, California.
South Australia, which relies heavily on solar and wind energy, has been struggling to find a way to strengthen its fragile energy network as the entire state suffered a power outage during a storm last year . Other blackouts plagued the state in the coming months.
The battery is part of a 550 million Australian dollar (USD 420 million) plan announced in March by Weatherill to make the state independent of the country's power grid. The cost of the battery has not been made public.
The operator of the Australian network warned of possible gas shortages in southeastern Australia at the end of next year.
The shortage is coming, as Australia is expected to soon overtake Qatar as the world's largest exporter of liquid natural gas.
Australia is also a major exporter of coal, which triggers much of its electricity generation and makes the country one of the worst greenhouse gas polluters in the world per capita.
(This story has not been edited by Personal Business Standard and is self-generated from a syndicated feed)