Elon Musk has vowed to fix South Australia’s power needs in 100 days, or they can have it for free.
The challenge has been laid before the Australian government who will soon decide whether to take him up on the offer. Musk has been known for his extravagant boasts and following through with brilliance, but punctuality has never been his strong point.
Tesla’s vice-president for energy products, Lyndon Rive, told the government that Tesla could produce and install 100-300 megawatt hours of battery storage that would prevent the current issues of power shortages. The shortages have led to price hikes and blackouts in recent months.
Lessons learned during the Gigafactory production could be put to use in building the battery storage farm in Southern Australia.
The challenge was made very public when Australian entrepreneur, Mike Cannon-Brookes, asked Musk on Twitter if he was being serious about his claims. Musk said that Tesla could do it within 100 days of the contract being signed, or else provide it for free, adding: “That serious enough for you?” SA Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young replied to Musk: “Let’s talk!”
Tesla’s battery technology could be the answer to South Australia’s power issues of late, after the Hazelwood power plant closure in Victoria. The area has suffered from numerous blackouts and several swings in energy prices. Political brawls have erupted over the energy crisis, with conservatives in the government blaming the use of renewable energy. Energy companies blamed an increased demand in output for the failures.
“We don’t have 300MWh sitting there ready to go but I’ll make sure they are.” Lyndon Rive – Tesla VP
Tesla recently installed an 80MWh grid-scale battery farm in southern California, which took 90 days to complete making it an industry first. It cost $100m to finalize but is very well received by the authorities.
It seems Elon Musk was certainly serious about his energy claims but time will tell if the Australian government decides to take him up on the exclusive offer.