Tesla activates world's biggest battery

Tesla activates world's biggest battery

Tesla's chieftain Elon Musk has delivered on his bold promise to build a new storage solution within 100 days - a move that the South Australian public met with applause following a number of frustrating blackouts across the country, including a nationwide one a year ago.

The world's biggest lithium-ion battery has plugged into an Australian state grid, an official said Friday, easily delivering on Tesla Inc. chief executive Elon Musk's 100-day guarantee.

The battery dispatched a maximum of 59 megawatts of power. The shortage is looming as Australia is expected to soon overtake Qatar as the world's biggest exporter of liquid natural gas. Musk made good on his word with plenty of time to spare: The battery project was completed in just 63 days.

This Friday, Jay Weatherhill, the state's premier, flipped the switch on the massive battery, calling it "history in the making". Tesla's battery farm is tied into Neoeon's Hornsdale wind farm, which is several hours north of Adelaide.

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The size of the battery is similar to the American football field.

Today the state of South Australia announced that that battery-the world's largest-is now online, reports CNBC. South Australia, of course, is no stranger to power outages, as blackouts left much of the area without power last summer. "It can address those stability issues very quickly without needing to resort to using large power plants", said Praveen Kathpal, vice president of AES, a losing bidder to build the battery. However, supporters of the new solution say that it will help stabilize the state's power grid that derives more than 40 percent of its electricity from wind energy, but needs helps when the wind dies down, especially during summers.

Some have called the battery a "Hollywood solution", which likely stems from the flashy nature of the battery's creation in a country that does still rely partly on fossil fuels.

South Australian taxpayers will be subsidising its operation with up to $50 million over the next 10 years.

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