POSTED AT 06:00 AM 05-12-2017
Tesla Launches World's Biggest Battery
Tesla activated the world's biggest lithium-ion battery in Australia on Friday, an achievement Tesla CEO Elon Musk had previously promised would be "just the beginning." The roughly football pitch-sized 100-megawatt battery is more than three times larger than the next largest site in Mira Loma, California.
The company says it draws on power delivered from a nearby windfarm and has the capacity to power 30,000 homes for up to an hour during blackouts. The battery is located some 200 kilometers (120 miles) north of South Australia's capital Adelaide and will also be used to boost electricity supply in the state during peak demand periods. "South Australia is now leading the world in dispatchable renewable energy, delivered to homes and businesses 24/7," State Premier Jay Weatherill said after the launch's announcement.
Musk keeps his promise
Tesla worked with French renewable energy company Neoen to build the farm in little over over 60 days after the companies had signed a contract with South Australia. Musk had promised to build the site within 100 days of signing or give the battery to the state government for free. Neither side has disclosed how much the government paid for the battery.
Australia's dirty power
South Australia's decision to build the battery farm is part of a larger $510-million Australian dollar (€325 million/$385 million) plan to make the state independent of Australia's national power grid. The battery and the plan, which was announced in March, have been controversial. Opponents have derided Tesla's battery as a "Hollywood solution" to the state's energy supply problems.
South Australia gets over 40 percent of its electricity from wind and solar power, but it has struggled to provide electricity during windless periods of peak demand. Australia is a major exporter of liquid natural gas and coal. It uses coal to power much of its national electricity grid, making it one of the world's worst emitters of greenhouse gases on a per capita basis.