Elon Musk, Tesla

And he’s back again. But, this time Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk has thrown down the gauntlet. He has promised that he can mend ongoing power troubles in the state of South Australia within 100 days. He plans to do the same by building a massive 100 MW battery storage farm in the said time frame. But, here the deal get’s interesting as Musk says he will gift the system to the state for free if he fails.

The state of South Australia is the most dependent on renewable energy sources — about 40% power generation can be attributed to solar, wind and other green sources. Since the state is employing these sustainable methods to power its energy grids, thus, it had to face power cuts and blackouts during recent heatwaves. And the government is currently scouting a solution for the said issue.

The conversation about Tesla battling these woes came up when Lyndon Rive, Tesla’s vice-president for energy products commented upon the situation earlier this week. In an interview, he said that Tesla would commit to solving the power trouble by installing about 100-300 megawatt-hours (MWh) of batteries in the state. And this, he said, would be possible to complete in 100 days due to increase in production at Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory. Talking about the same, Rive said,

We don’t have 300MWh sitting there ready to go but I’ll make sure there are. We could install everything and get it up and running within 100 days. We had a similar challenge in southern California … We got 80MWh up in 90 days. 

Now, Elon Musk came into the picture when the aforementioned statements were picked up by Atlassian CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes. He tweeted out to Musk questioning the integrity of the 100-day claim, to which he received a crisp acceptance of the challenge. Musk said that Tesla would “get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free.”

To this, Mike requested the legendary innovator (or even eccentric!) to provide him about 7 days to sort out funding and politics to set up the battery farm. He also asked Elon Musk to send him a rough quote for installing batteries to store 100 MW of energy – and to that he cheekily added ‘mates rates’. Musk replied a short while later quoting the price per battery pack at $250/kWh for the installation of 100MWh+ battery farms. And he further added that these were global rates but shipping, taxes, and installation labor costs varied with each country.


And if you ask me, Musk-backed Tesla Inc could surely make this incredible feat happen in the scheduled time frame. And the process already seems to have been initiated as Sarah Hanson-Young, Senator of South Australia and Jay Weatherill, Premier of the state seem to have reached out to Elon Musk (as well as Atlassian CEO Mike) to make this a reality. And we couldn’t be more pumped.

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