Musk's record-breaking battery officially launches in Australia

Tesla 100 MW/129 MWh Powerpack system by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk is connected to a wind farm operated by French energ
Tesla 100 MW/129 MWh Powerpack system by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk is connected to a wind farm operated by French energy firm Neoen, in the Australian rural town of Jamestown

The world's biggest battery was officially launched in Australia on Friday, a day after the Elon Musk-driven project was powered up early to meet demand amid a bout of hot weather, officials said.

Musk's Tesla built the Powerpack system, which can provide electricity for more than 30,000 homes, to ease South Australia's energy woes after the state was hit with a total blackout in 2016 following an "unprecedented" storm.

The maverick billionaire earlier this year offered on Twitter to build the battery farm, and completed it last week to narrowly beat his self-imposed deadline of having it ready in 100 days.

"South Australia is now leading the world in dispatchable renewable energy, delivered to homes and businesses 24/7," state Premier Jay Weatherill said Friday at the launch to coincide with the first day of summer.

"This is history in the making."

The 100 MW/129 MWh battery, located in the rural town of Jamestown north of Adelaide and connected to a wind farm operated by French energy firm Neoen, was switched on a day early, just as temperatures soar in the state.

The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) said it delivered 70MW of stored wind energy into the state's market to meet peak demand on Thursday.

The battery farm is expected to help tackle power shortages, reduce intermittencies and address demands in summer, when most of the country experiences its highest energy usage.

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk offered on Twitter to build the Australian battery farm, and completed it last week to narrowly beat
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk offered on Twitter to build the Australian battery farm, and completed it last week to narrowly beat his self-imposed deadline of having it ready in 100 days
'Model for the future'

Tesla said it was hopeful the project would provide a model for future deployments around the world, adding in a statement Friday that its fast completion "shows that a sustainable, effective energy solution is possible".

Neoen deputy chief executive Romain Desrousseaux said the "ambitious" project—which Musk estimated cost at least US$50 million—would bring the state to the forefront of global energy storage technology.

Last summer, extreme as well as storms saw blackouts hit some regions of Australia.

The AEMO is switching on closed gas-fired power stations to provide extra power to Australia's east coast this season.

Although Australia is one of the world's largest producers of coal and gas, the South Australian blackout raised questions about its energy security.

Several ageing coal-fired power plants have been closed, while strong demand for gas exports and a rise in onshore gas drilling bans have fuelled concerns of a looming domestic shortage in the next few years.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull earlier this year said a hydro-electric project in New South Wales state, the Snowy Mountains Scheme, would be expanded to provide electricity to 500,000 homes.

More than 60 percent of electricity generation in Australia is from coal, with 14 percent from renewables, according to government data published last year.


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Dec 01, 2017
Wow! This man is amazing.Unlike some, he does not talk for years and then do nothing. Too bad there are not more great men like Mr. Musk. (Would be neat if he ran for President and we could get rid of the train wreck we have now)

Dec 02, 2017
"Unlike some, he does not talk for years and then do nothing."


Except in all his other enterprises. How's the affordable peoples' EV coming along? Profitable re-usable rockets? Hyperloop? Solar City? Investors are starting to ask, "where's the beans you promised?", while his companies are running out of cash and Musk is now asking for billions more in investments and proposing $250,000 pre-orders on cars they aren't even manufacturing (new version of the Roadster).

So he's pulling off this stunt where he gets to define the goal according to what he can perform, at the expense of his other ventures, and then pass it off as a great accomplishment.

Dec 02, 2017
Musk has not slowed down to milk his technologies for cash, but has instead pushed on to the next thing cool thing. He's an explorer, not a settler. At some point the bean counters will take control and make money off some of the things Musk has done, and at that point Musk will leave and I hope that he starts something new (like Steve Jobs when he left Apple). Even if Musk fails, at least it will be by reaching for the stars.

Musk is having fun, and so far he has been rewarded for that by the stock market. In the meantime Musk has made electric cars sexy and made rockets reusable. He didn't invent everything himself, but he made it relevant by selling the dream. That's already far more than most people do in a lifetime.


Dec 02, 2017
100MWh is pretty small. Datacenters have to offer far more than that. Granted, this is through battery, but no explanation of the cost is given. What's the human toll to mine the rare earths? What's the cost per kWh?

Dec 03, 2017
Sounds like a Ponzi scheme, using money from one 'investment' to keep the others going. Sooner or later he's going to run out of other people's money with little to show for it and then the lawsuits and criminal charges will fly. An interesting lifestyle for adrenaline junkies.

Dec 03, 2017
I like how the little people attack winners like musk. Makes them bigger on the inside but much smaller on the outside.

This is unphysical yes?

Dec 03, 2017
tblakely
Sounds like a Ponzi scheme, using money from one 'investment' to keep the others going
Well blakely - Spacex is now profitable - https://www.fool....017.aspx It is hit and miss right now - if Telsa will survive economically - but even if it goes under - it will be bought up - and Musk has accomplished a great deal in the process. So when was the last time you started a profitable rocket company - that is going to drive the cost of putting pay loads into space down?

Dec 03, 2017
I see hero worshiping is alive and well. Will Musk endure or will he ultimately fail trying to juggle too many investments by moving cash back and forth in a desperate attempt to keep all the balls up in the air? I don't know but number of investment scammers versus the real deal is huge. As with most things, time will tell. I've no dog in this hunt so my interest is merely idle curiosity.

Dec 03, 2017
I see hero worshiping is alive and well
Well - I notice you don't answer the question about when did you last start a profitable rocket company? Don't you think Musk deserves some credit for accomplishments like Spacex?
I've no dog in this hunt
I think that is dishonest. Why else would you have to throw around terms like ponzi scheme. I already showed you that Spacex is profitable. No small feat. Tesla may make it. If they don't - it won't be for lack of trying. I do have a dog in this hunt. I want to live in a world where progress is valued - and people aren't childish - and need to piss on science. My interest is not idle curiosity. I am about to lose a dear friend to lung cancer. When we value knowledge - we push the boundaries of technology.

Dec 04, 2017
Good price too, works out to $1600.00 per house

Dug
Dec 04, 2017
I'm not sure what the record broken is/was - and or if the record is broken until the battery complex actually works as projected. Something that seems yet to be learned.

Dug
Dec 04, 2017
SpaceX profitable? Not consistently, not impressively and not by basic business standards. https://www.fool....lly.aspx

Dec 05, 2017
Dug - maybe you should have read the more updated Motley Fool article that I referenced earlier - https://www.fool....017.aspx

" It could put SpaceX within spitting distance of Boeing's profit margins on space, and close the gap with Lockheed Martin's space division."

So how many rocket companies have you started in the past few years? Are they profitable yet? That's right - it is easier to be an armchair quareterback - than to wish someone who is actually doing stuff - best of luck...

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