Elon Musk bold claim
Tesla CEO Elon Musk made a bold claim – he could fix South Australia’s power crisis. Better still if he couldn’t do it in 100 days, it would be free. The region has been suffering from blackouts which have been more severe since closure of North Power Station in Port Augusta last May. These blackouts and spikes in energy prices caused a number of farmers in South Australia to off-grid solutions.
It all began with a tweet…
A tweet from the co-founder of Atlassian Corp, a software development company, Mike Cannon-Brookes began the whole conversation. He sent out a plea, offering to fund and support a project for battery storage if Elon Musk could supply the technology to solve the blackout crisis. A short time later and Cannon-Brookes had his reply:
“Tesla will get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free. Serious enough for you?”
Of course Mike sent an excited reply back, “You’re on mate.”
This exchange came just a day after the launch of the Tesla Powerwall 2 and Powerpack 2, which are for grid and industrial scale application, respectively. Lyndon Rive, who heads Tesla’s battery division, was at the launch. He commented that Elon Musk has many big pipeline battery storage projects aimed for grid applications. These would help to manage peak demand and would help to solve South Australia’s current grid stresses. By using the existing infrastructure and adding battery storage, the problem is solved. Elon Musk considers there is no need to go down the “clean coal” path that the Australian government have been considering, he added.
The Financial Review reported that Rive also said that by coupling together large centralized storage with residential and commercial solar and battery storage it would be “near impossible to take the grid down”.