Science & Tech
Elon Musk Wins $50 Million Bet for Building World’s Largest Lithium-Ion Battery in 100 Days
Elon Musk, the co-founder of Tesla and founder of PayPal and SpaceX, is $50 million richer after winning a bet he made on Twitter. Earlier this March, the visionary told Atlassian’s Mike Cannon-Brookes that he could solve South Australia’s frustrating blackouts in 100 days. If he failed, the estimated $50 million service would be for free. Now, he’s officially won. As a result, Australian residents won’t have to sit in the dark during periods of excess energy demand.
Though Musk signed the deal with the government in September, he was actually awarded the contract in July. This pushed the deadline for the 100-megawatt project back to December 1, which Musk met with just enough time to breathe.
Tesla’s 100-megawatt Powerpack supports Neoen’s Hornsdale wind farm, which is located north of Australia’s capital, Adelaide. On Thursday, state premier Jay Weatherill announced that testing would begin within days — before the agreed-upon deadline. According to Business Insider, the massive battery is capable of providing power for 8,000 homes for a 24-hour period. That’s the equivalent of 30,000 homes for an hour during a blackout!
Last September, all of South Australia lost power when a storm devastated the state’s electricity transmission infrastructure. The unanticipated event left thousands of people in the dark, spurring a national political debate over energy security and costs. As a result, the government announced a $550 million plan to prevent future blackouts — this includes the Powerpack and a 250-megawatt gas-fired generator which is expected to cost $360 million.
Now, all that is needed is for the plant to be tested to ensure it meets regulatory requirements, said Weatherill. When sharing this information, he also praised the parties who were involved with the project’s hasty execution.
“It sends the clearest message that South Australia will be a leader in renewable energy with battery storage,” said Weatherill. “An enormous amount of work has gone into delivering this project in such a short time, and I look forward to visiting Jamestown next week to personally thank those who have worked on this project.”
Once again, Musk has made the “impossible” possible.
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h/t Business Insider
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