Tesla wins contract to stabilise South Australia’s power system with world’s largest battery

Follows Vector win in Alice Springs.
Elon Musk shakes hands with SA Premier Jay Weatherill.

Telsa and French wind farm developer Neoen have won a tender to supply a 100 megawatt lithium ion battery to help stabilise South Australia’s power grid – which suffered a catastrophic failure in September last year that saw all of the state’s 1.7 million residents lose power.

If it works, the Telsa Powerpack battery storage system will be three times larger than any other on the planet, with a 100 megawatt storage capacity.

It will be used to store power from an existing windfarm, so it can be dispersed at times of shortages.

And if it isn't up and running within 100 days of today's deal being signed, Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk has pledged there will be no cost (a price has not been publicly disclosed so far, but earlier the South Australian state government pledged to spend $A550 million to shore up its power grid).

The 100-day deadline originally emerged from a Twitter discussion between Mr Musk and Mike Cannon-Brookes, founder of Australian software company  Atlassian. The Aussie software supremo challenged the Tesla and Space X founder to help out, and prove the industrial chops of his batteries in the process. South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill jumped in on the social media conversation.

The South Australia deal follows a more modest-scale win for New Zealand’s Vector, which won the Alice Springs battery energy storage system project in a competitive tender to provide a 5 megawatt system to help improve the Northern Territory's energy network.

Although Vector has partnered with Telsla in New Zealand on its Powerpack system (both for the owners of solar panel homes, and for Vector itself, which has a 1 megawatt Tesla Powerpack installation at a substation in the Auckland suburb of Glen Innes), its successful Alice Springs bid will use batteries from LG Chem.

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