The world’s largest battery system has been completed in South Australia, more than a month ahead of schedule. The 100-megawatt Powerpack system was the subject of a bet made by Tesla CEO Elon Musk back in March of this year, to “get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free”.
Musk took to Twitter to praise the workers behind the project, tweeting “Congratulations to the Tesla crew and South Australian authorities who worked so hard to get this manufactured and installed in record time!”The bet was made in the wake of last year’s near state-wide blackout. While investigations into the power failure by the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and AGL have since concluded that sensitive protection mechanisms at several locations across the state caused the shutdown of the grid, there were initial concerns that intermittent delivery from renewable sources was the cause. The new system will hopefully allay these concerns. The lithium-ion battery storage facility will be charged by Neoen’s Hornsdale wind farm near Jamestown, South Australia, delivering electricity during peak hours and providing backup power in case of future blackouts. When fully charged, the system should provide baseload power to run 8,000 homes for 24 hours, or more than 30,000 houses for an hour during a blackout. In a media release, South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill stated: “we are delivering our energy plan, making South Australia more self-sufficient and providing back up power and more affordable energy for South Australians this summer”. “The world’s largest lithium ion battery will be an important part of our energy mix, and it sends the clearest message that South Australia will be a leader in renewable energy with battery storage”.
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