Elon Musk's huge battery is now powering South Australia

02 December, 2017, 00:47 | Author: Becky Perry
  • The Tesla battery site and Hornsdale wind farm

The battery farm launches today after extensive regulatory testing that took place to test the battery's ability to charge to, and from, Australia's National Energy Market and also act as a generator.

The battery dispatched a maximum of 59 megawatts of power.

In this venture, Tesla delivered as promised, and well ahead of Musk's 100-day deadline, with the battery coming to life just 63 days after the grid connection-agreement was signed.

It has the capacity to power more than 30,000 homes for up to an hour in the event of a blackout.

State Premier Jay Weatherill announced last week that Tesla had finished installing the battery power packs near Jamestown, about 200 kilometers (120 miles) north of the state capital Adelaide. The shortage is looming as Australia is expected to soon overtake Qatar as the world's biggest exporter of liquid natural gas.

SA Premier Jay Weatherill flicked the switch on the new massive battery
Elon Musk's huge battery is now powering South Australia

The manufacturer, Tesla, says the lithium-ion device made up of PowerWall 2 batteries is the "largest" by storage and "most powerful" of its type in the world.

South Australia suffered a severe blackout past year that left 1.7 million people without electricity, prompting Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull to lash out at state regulations that encouraged what he believed to be a too heavy a reliance on renewable energy: the Australian Energy Market Operator found that the blackout was caused by too sensitive protection mechanisms at some windfarms in South Australia. They store energy generated by the neighboring Hornsdale Wind Farm, owned by French renewable energy company Neoen, to bring added reliability and stability to the state grid.

But critics have described it as a "Hollywood solution" in a country that still relies on fossil fuels, mainly coal, for two-thirds of its electricity. The plan comes after the state-wide blackout in September previous year.

One of Tesla's biggest rivals in the field is Hyundai Electric & Energy Systems, as its e-storage complex, twice as big as Tesla's, will be set up in South Korea early next year.

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