For the last few months, South Australia has been hit by rolling blackouts due to electricity spikes from heatwaves. The supply in the nation is heavy on renewables, which means that balancing peak demand (especially when it’s not windy!) can be difficult.
It’s a serious problem that the country is trying to work out how to tackle, and now there’s one more option on the table. Elon Musk has said that Tesla can provide enough battery storage to solve the peak power problems, and the batteries can be deployed within 100 days. He’s not messing around either, as the batteries come with a unique guarantee.
In a Twitter conversation with Australian billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes, Musk laid out his terms:
At the pricing that Musk announced, the batteries to fix Australia’s power problem would cost just $25 million. The final cost would be much higher thanks to paying for shipping, importing, and installation, but as a base price it seems manageable.
Battery storage would help prevent further blackouts by increasing the peak amount of energy available to the grid. The problem wasn’t so much total energy production; rather, it’s the short period of time after everyone arrives home from work and kicks on the AC that has been causing blackouts. If the grid can over-produce during the day and charge Musk’s batteries, that power can be drawn on later in the evening when the grid is being stressed the most.
Tesla has already completed energy storage projects before, including an 80MWh battery project in California.