Tesla just completed the construction of the biggest batteries in the world in less than two months.
Last week, tech billionaire and Tesla CEO Elon Musk was not able to contain his excitement after the completion of a 100-megawatt, 129-MWh battery installation that Tesla built in South Australia. Dubbed as the world’s biggest batteries, the facility is all set to produce the most massive megawatt rating for any grid-connected installation in the world.
The facility was finished less than two months after the contract was signed in September, way earlier than what Musk promised the Australian authorities. According to reports, Musk pledged that he would finish the installation in 100 days and if his company failed to deliver, it would be free.@elonmusk & #Tesla just finished the world's biggest batteries in #AustraliaClick To Tweet
What a significant challenge and accomplishment it must have been, considering the fact that the facility seemingly costs Tesla over $50 million USD to build. In a tweet last Wednesday night, the pride and joy were clearly evident in Musk’s congratulatory message to his Australian team.
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
How Tesla Built the Biggest Batteries in the World
Musk’s involvement in the Australian project originated from a Twitter conversation between him and Australian billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes in March this year. Back then, Musk claimed that if he won the contract, Tesla would get it installed and operational in just 100 days or else it would be free.
Tesla will get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free. That serious enough for you?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 10, 2017
Apparently, Tesla won the bidding in July and signed the contract in September. The project was part of the Australian state’s efforts to boost its power infrastructure after suffering state-wide blackout last year due to a storm.
Reports said that the Australian authorities wanted to ensure that such an incident wouldn’t happen again in the future and they wanted to make use of renewable energy as a solution to the dilemma.
According to data, the Hornsdale Wind Farm located in Jamestown, South Australia produces 315 megawatts of electricity. However, more than other wind farms, the power from Hornsdale is not considered as a consistent source of electricity. The installation of the world’s biggest batteries will serve as the state’s backup source of electricity that will supply additional energy to the grid during periods of peak demand.
The batteries are said to be three times larger than the largest conventional lithium-ion battery. The installation is still undergoing the final rounds of testing, and Tesla engineers will continue powering it up this week before the December 1st commissioning deadline.
The batteries will be powered by the wind farm and will be jointly paid for by Tesla, Australian taxpayers, and Neoen. It will run continuously to provide the state with a secure power system during peak hours to help maintain the reliable operation of South Australia’s electrical infrastructure. The batteries are expected to provide energy to power more than 30,000 homes in the region.
Australian energy forecasters are already warning everyone of an extreme summer which could mean more electricity shortages and blackouts. If the prediction comes true, it would put the world’s biggest batteries to the test, an opportunity for Musk to prove the efficiency of his battery storage system.
The final testing would then be followed by a street party in Jamestown which, according to reports, would be attended by Musk himself.