Elon Musk, the billionaire co-founder of electric car giant Tesla, has thrown down a challenge to the South Australian and federal governments, saying he can solve the state’s energy woes within 100 days – or he’ll deliver the 100MW battery storage system for free.
On Thursday, Lyndon Rive, Tesla’s vice-president for energy products, told the AFR the company could install the 100-300 megawatt hours of battery storage that would be required to prevent the power shortages that have been causing price spikes and blackouts in the state.
Thanks to stepped-up production out of Tesla’s new Gigafactory in Nevada, he said it could be achieved within 100 days.
Mike Cannon-Brookes, the Australian co-founder of Silicon Valley startup Atlassian, on Friday tweeted Elon Musk, asking if Tesla was serious about being able to install the capacity.
Musk replied that the company could do it in 100 days of the contract being signed, or else provide it free, adding: “That serious enough for you?”
Lock Him UP!! He’s Craaa-zy! Elon Musk’s INSANE Solar Deal.
March 13, 2017
Battery systems built for power companies can serve more than one purpose. A utility can avoid blackouts by charging them up when its natural gas power plants, or solar and wind farms, produce more electricity than needed, and draw from them when the power plants aren’t able to keep up with demand.
Edison and other California utilities hired Tesla and a few other battery farm builders after an important natural gas reservoir near Los Angeles, called Aliso Canyon, closed following a huge leak and massive environmental disaster in late 2015. The leak forced thousands of people in nearby neighborhoods to evacuate. It also left utilities worried about how they’d meet the peak electricity demands of coming summers if they weren’t able to dip into the natural gas storage whenever they need fuel to produce power. They couldn’t always get natural gas shipment from other suppliers quick enough to meet a sharp rise in electricity consumption.
Companies that buy lithium-ion batteries have been reporting drops in prices of 70% over the past two years. Tesla has said it plans to lower its battery prices by 30% by expanding production inside its Gigafactory.