: Winning a bet, Tesla builds the world’s biggest battery in Australia
South Australia will soon begin testing the world’s biggest lithium ion battery, the region’s government has declared.
And with that, Tesla Motor Inc.’s TSLA, -1.64% Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk just won a fairly sizable bet. Not only that, but the guy whose electric-car company has earned a bit of a reputation for delays actually managed to deliver a product on time.
The premier of South Australia, Jay Weatherill, said in a statement Thursday that the Tesla Powerpack battery will soon start regulatory testing. It will connect to French renewable energy company Neoen’s Hornsdale Wind Farm in South Australia, and hopefully put an end to the state’s serious energy problems. Neoen and Tesla were awarded the contract in July.
“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 renewable energy with battery storage,” said Weatherill.
The Power pack, which is scaled for major utilities, is designed to store energy for off-grid and supplemental power systems. Musk’s bet with the Aussie state began back in March when, via a series of tweets, he promised to get his energy-storage technology installed and working 100 days from the day a contract was signed — or they’d get it for free.
You’re most welcome. Very exciting to discuss the future of electricity. Renewables + storage arguably biggest disruption since DC to AC. https://t.co/7uXoUQf29f
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 12, 2017
Musk tweeted out his congratulations to the Tesla crew and Aussie authorities who “worked so hard get this manufactured and installed in record time.” The battery is expected to launch next week after testing:
Congratulations to the Tesla crew and South Australian authorities who worked so hard to get this manufactured and installed in record time! https://t.co/M2zKXlIVn3
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 23, 2017
South Australia was hit by a statewide blackouts in September 2016 after the transmission system was hit by a storm, and the government is hoping the battery will help stabilize the system and lower costs. A first test of Tesla’s giant battery may hit in the summer, which runs from early December to late February for the country.
Energy storage is a budding business for Tesla, as it makes much of its revenue from electric cars. It may just be chalked up as another win for Musk, who appears to have a hit on his hands after last week announcing a sleek electric big rig, which has already won orders, and a new version of the Roadster.
Read: Tesla’s biggest news last week was not the truck, says this fund manager
Then again, Tesla chief Musk has many irons in the fire. As well as the electric auto maker, there’s the SpaceX rocket builder and the Boring Co. tunneling company — which apparently raised $ 300,000 by selling branded caps just this week.