Elon Musk wins bet, turns on Australian mega-battery within 100 days


The 100-megawatt battery, built by Tesla, was officially activated on Friday. It had in fact provided some power since Thursday due to demand caused by local hot weather.

South Australia has been crippled by electricity problems in recent times.

As I understand it, the region is a leader in wind-power, but suffers blackouts when wind levels fall too far.

Elon Musk stepped in, said he’d have a 100 Megawatt backup battery built, delivered, installed and working within 100 days or he wouldn’t charge them a penny.

Great story.

  • Kip Beatty

    It’s an underreported part of the bigger issue, but battery tech is THE key to moving to renewable energy. Solar and wind power are not available on demand, or timed very well to meet our schedules. As a result, so much of it is wasted when it’s not needed, and then not available when we do. Battery farms, like the type Musk’s company built, are the key to solving this issue.

    • GlennC777

      I wish I had a better handle on the economics and general feasibility here. Batteries seem appallingly inefficient compared to grid energy, even if the total battery capacity needed is a small fraction of overall grid capacity.

      I’ve heard of attempts to find alternatives, like pumping water uphill, etc; and researched high-speed flywheel energy storage for a seminar I had to give as a graduation requirement back in college; but so far no great solution seems to have presented itself.

      It just seems that there must be better alternatives, i.e. some good ways to reduce the mis-match, as well as better ways to handle it when it occurs.

    • Caleb Hightower

      Molten salt and large manmade lakes can also serve as ‘batteries’ without the potential risk of explosion that lithium batteries have. But I can see why Musk used his LI batteries here, it his business and its good PR for his Gigafactory.

  • iacas

    Yeah, but how many times can it charge my iPhone? 😉

    • drx1

      at least until you need a new one.

  • Mo

    Good work done.

  • Brandon

    I am continuously impressed with Elon Musk. He isn’t afraid of taking on challenging projects and has no fear of putting his money where his mouth is. Signed, sealed, and delivered.

  • JimCracky

    Elon Musk- is that the guy who fired hundreds of workers from two different companies because he didn’t want them to organize?

    Fuck Elon Musk.

  • drx1

    The batteries are getting better and that is great.

    Nuclear can also get better. And why are we wasting all this time and money on fusion? Fusion is pie in the sky – it won’t be ready for 50 to 100 years – if that … we currently have safe, efficient nuclear technology – check it out!

    Molten Salt Reactors https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGBkV3ZLTDI

  • Nick West

    Could have sworn it’s been more than 100 days…

    However the state government f*cked up hugely by shutting down existing infrastructure before having anything in place to take the load. Idiots.

    • Billy Razzle

      His tweet was from March 9th. But I think the key is that it was supposed to be 100 days from the signing of the contract.

      “Tesla will get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free. That serious enough for you?”