Tesla Inc switched on the world’s biggest lithium ion battery on Friday meeting a promise by Elon Musk to build it in a hundred days or build it for free.
“South Australia is now leading the world in dispatchable renewable energy,” said State Premier Jay Weatherill at the official launch at the Hornsdale wind farm, owned by private French firm, Neoen.
Neoen’s mission is to develop, finance and manage electricity and heat generation projects operating on renewable energy.
Tesla won a bid in July to build the 129-megawatt hour battery for South Australia, who has suffered a string of blackouts over the past 18 months.
In a political debate, opponents of the state’s renewables push have argued that the battery is a “Hollywood solution” due to the country’s reliance on fossil fuels for two-thirds of its electricity.
Supporters say it will help stabilise the grid in a state that now gets more than 40 percent of its electricity from wind energy, but needs the help when the wind dies down.
“Storage can respond within a fraction of a second. It can address those stability issues very quickly without needing to resort to using large power plants,” said losing bidder, Praveen Kathpal, vice president of AES Energy Storage.
The state has yet to reveal how much it is paying Tesla.