Musk makes good on Twitter dare with South Australian battery

Tesla is delivering the 100MW energy storage facility less than 100 days since signing the contract.

Elon Musk’s giant South Australian lithium-ion battery is ready to be energised in the coming days, state premier Jay Weatherill announced.

The 100MW Tesla Powerpacks – the world’s largest lithium-ion battery system – has been fully installed and is now entering regulatory testing to ensure it meets the government’s requirements.

The energy storage system is connected to Neoen’s 309MW Hornsdale wind farm, near Adelaide, to provide system security services to South Australia, particularly during peak summer hours. The facility will begin operations on 1 December. John Laing and Megawatt Capital Investments are also investors in Hornsdale.

The South Australian government announced a plan in March to deliver a cleaner, more reliable energy system after blackouts were blamed on renewable energy’s intermittency. The plan included building the country’s largest battery system to store renewable energy and provide back-up power when needed.

The same month, Musk said on Twitter that “Tesla will get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free”. The electric vehicle manufacturer and Neoen were officially awarded the contract in July, following a competitive process.

Tesla took about two months to deliver the project, counting from when the company signed the deal with the state government at the end of September.

“The world’s largest lithium-ion battery will be an important part of our energy mix, and it sends the clearest message that South Australia will be a leader in renewable energy with battery storage,” said Weatherill.