There is no stopping tech-billionaire, Elon Musk. In his drive to make tech that’s good for humanity has delivered the world’s largest lithium-ion batteries 200km north of Adelaide in time for summer, according to The Urban Developer. Coming in within 100 days of signing the contract, this achievement helps prepare for the summer’s high demand on power and prevent load-shedding blackouts that brought South Australia to its knees last year.
Privately owned by Tesla and French energy supplier, Neoen the Tesla Powerpack batteries have been installed near Jamestown, 200km north of Adelaide on Neoen’s Horndale windfarm. Charging the batteries from the wind farm when power is abundant and cheap will allow operators to sell some of the power back into the grid when supply is tight and demand is high. Prior to this peak supply energy was sourced from interstate which drove electricity prices through the roof for consumers.
In response to the supply shortfalls, soaring prices and concerns over the security of the electricity grid, this action is part of South Australia’s Premier – Jay Weatherill’s $550 million energy plan, the battery is “an important part of our energy mix” and “sends the clearest message that South Australia will be a leader [in] renewable energy with battery storage.”
If supply runs low this summer, the government will be able to access the batteries’ full output where load-shedding is imminent and provide stable service to the grid. Load-shedding aims to protect the grid when Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) directs providers to switch off supply to some customers.
The new 100-megawatt battery will produce enough energy to power 30,000 homes for a little over an hour.
The energy plan also includes a newly installed fleet of diesel-powered backup generators. Combined, these measures should stop tens of thousands of households unexpectedly losing power for up to an hour on a hot summer’s day. The true test is imminent with summer upon us.
With South Australia at the helm of embracing renewables, you can read about future plans for Melbourne’s Renewable Energy Project.
Although South Australia may have beaten the rest of Australia to deploying large scale renewable energy, Tesla has been busy setting up many lithium-ion batteries across the globe. Business Insider takes us on a tour of some pretty impressive sites set up for renewable futures.
If you are concerned about the impact you may be having on the grid over summer, here’s some handy tips to help you stay cool and save energy over those steaming hot days.
As for Elon Musk, founder of paypal, it appears as if the gauntlet has been thrown and he is now in the race against The Boeing Company to be the first to Mars. There really is no stopping him… watch this space!