Electricity-fragile South Australia has picked electric car maker Tesla to install the world’s biggest grid-scale battery, to be powered by a wind farm provided by France’s Neoen, in a bold step toward renewable energy at scale.
Responding to a challenge, Tesla has 100 days from contract-signing to set it up, or will charge no fee.
On completion this year the system will have storage capacity of 129MW, the largest lithium-ion battery storage project in the world, and will be able to provide enough power for more than 30,000 homes, Tesla said.
Tesla was selected his week to supply the entire energy storage system after a competitive bidding process. Its big Powerpack system will be paired with Neoen’s Hornsdale Wind Farm near Jamestown, South Australia.
The state of 1.7 million people has wrestled with power in recent years. Last September, a 50-year storm caused a state-wide blackout. Further blackouts occurred in the heat of the Australian summer in early 2017.
In response, the South Australian government called for expressions of interest to deploy grid-scale energy storage options with at least 100MW of capacity.
Under the terms of the agreement, Tesla must deliver the battery within 100 days of a contract being signed or it is free.
"There will be a lot of people that will look at this, ‘did they get it done within 100 days? Did it work?'" Musk told reporters in Adelaide, Reuters reported.
"We are going to make sure it does."
The 100-day deadline will begin within a few weeks, a political source told Reuters, after a connectivity agreement is reached between South Australia, Telsa, Neoen and the Australian Energy Market Operator.
Musk and a spokesman for South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill declined to reveal the cost of the project.
Musk said a failure to deliver the project in time would cost his company "$50 million or more", without elaborating, said Reuters.
The scheme at Jamestown will overtake the current record-holder for storage size, an 80 megawatt-hour power station at Mira Loma in Ontario, Calif., also built using Tesla batteries.
Image: The system will have storage capacity of 129MW, making it the largest lithium-ion battery storage project in the world (Tesla)