Mega-Battery Activated in Australia

January 08, 2018

The world’s largest lithium ion battery is currently dispensing power into an electricity grid in South Australia.

Built by Tesla (Tesla is owned by South African-born Elon Musk), the 100-megawatt battery was activated, and is providing power. Extra demand for power is caused by hot weather. In recent times South Australia has been crippled by electricity problems.

Elon Musk famously vowed to build the battery within 100 days – a promise which he fulfilled. South Australian Premier, Jay Weatherill, said, “This is history in the making. The battery will prevent a repeat of a notorious incident in 2016 where the entire state lost power”.

Musk has described the battery as being three times more powerful than any other. The idea behind the battery started when Musk was asked on Twitter whether he was serious about helping to resolve South Australia’s electricity woes.

Elon Musk responded that he was indeed serious – adding that if the battery wasn’t built within 100 days, the state would receive it for free. After a plan was approved by the state government and regulators, the countdown began on 30 September 2017. Tesla finished the battery in about 60 days.

The battery is located near Jamestown, about 200km north of Adelaide. It is connected to a wind farm, which is run by French energy company Neoen.

About 30 000 homes could be powered for an hour, when the battery is fully charged. However, it will mostly be used to support and stabilise existing electricity supplies.

The battery comprises of a grid system that runs on the same technology that powers Tesla’s cars. The company released a statement upon the completion of the battery “this shows that a sustainable, effective energy solution is possible”.