Elon Musk has done it again. In March, the inventor and mastermind behind Tesla, SpaceX and other world-changing ventures made a bet on Twitter with Atlassian’s Mike Cannon-Brookes that he could help solve South Australia’s vexing blackouts with a massive Powerpack within 100 days — or provide the estimated $50 million service for free. And he has now officially won. Not only will Tesla receive payment for the 100-megawatt energy storage project, but residents no longer have to sit in the dark during periods of excess energy demand.
Although Musk signed off on the South Australia project in September, the government officially awarded his company the contract in July. Business Insider reports that the massive battery is capable of providing power for 8,000 homes for a 24-hour period, or 30,000 homes for an hour during a blackout.
Last September, all of South Australia lost power when a storm damaged the state’s electricity transmission infrastructure. In response, the government announced a $550 million plan to buttress against future blackouts, which includes the Powerpack and a 250 megawatt gas-fired generator expected to cost $360 million.
Weatherill says testing will ensure the plant meets all regulatory requirements, and praised all parties involved with its rapid execution.
“It sends the clearest message that South Australia will be a leader in renewable energy with battery storage,” he said. “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.”