Elon Musk flips the switch on Tesla's giant Australian battery
Tesla's hit the switch on the world's largest lithium ion battery.
After winning a bet to build the huge battery in 100 days, Musk and his team, along with the South Australian government, completed the installation of a Powerpack system with 100 megawatts of capacity on Nov. 23.
And now, it's up and running.
SEE ALSO: This isn’t the first time Elon Musk made big promises
Representatives from Tesla, French renewable energy company Neoen, and Adelaide engineering firm Consolidated Power Projects joined South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill on Friday, local time, to officially launch the battery, although it was technically turned on Thursday, according to ABC.
ABC reports that the early launch was due to an extreme weather forecast for the state, as the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has warned of possible record rainfalls, severe thunderstorms and damaging winds in the next few days. Apparently, Tesla's battery has already dispatched a maximum of 59 megawatts of power.
In short, it's already go-time for Tesla's battery.
Connected to Neoen's Hornsdale Wind Farm near Jamestown, three hours’ drive from Adelaide, the Powerpack system is an attempt to alleviate some of the state's severe energy issues.
Musk's involvement came from a now famous bet derived from light Tesla bragging and Twitter banter in March. Musk said that if he didn't get it done in 100 days, he'd foot the bill, which could have been up to US$50 million (A$65 million).
He launched the 100 days on Sept. 29, even though they'd already finished half the project (pretty sly).
Although the state gets most of its energy from renewables, South Australia’s been in dire need of a demand-led energy solution, after a huge blackout in September 2016 left residents in the dark.
The Powerpack system aims to "stabilise the South Australian grid" and supply enough power for over 30,000 homes, which is about equal to the amount of homes that lost power in September.
In March 2017, the State Government announced a plan to create a A$150 million (US$114 million) fund to support renewable energy projects. Tesla was selected from over 90 competitive bids to provide the entire energy storage component for Neoen's Hornsdale Wind Farm.
"The completion of the world’s largest lithium-ion battery in record time shows that a sustainable, effective energy solution is possible," said a Tesla representative on Friday.
"We are proud to be part of South Australia’s renewable energy future, and hope this project provides a model for future deployments around the world."
With those severe weather warnings on the doorstep for South Australia, it seems the world's largest battery has arrived just in time.