Elon’ll Fix It!
By Paul Homewood
h/t Patsy Lacey
Ever the showman, Elon Musk has promised to fix South Australia’s power problems!
Elon Musk is not shy of a challenge. The billionaire entrepreneur behind Tesla has promised that he can install enough battery capacity in South Australia’s power grid to fix the state’s energy capacity problems within 100 days, and if he fails, will do the whole thing for free.
Musk made the promise after Tesla’s vice president for energy products Lyndon Rive told the Australian Financial Review that a battery storage grid that can store between 100 and 300 megawatt hours of energy, enough to provide the extra capacity needed to prevent blackouts in the region, could be installed 100 days after a contract was signed.
The boast about extra capacity comes after increased battery production at Tesla’s gigafactory in Nevada, but Musk showed he wasn’t kidding by saying that if he didn’t deliver, he’d do the whole thing for free. When Mike Cannon-Brookes, the billionaire founder of tech company Atlassian, asked if Rive was serious, Musk replied on Twitter with the promise.
So what is this miracle Mr Musk has offered? In fact, there is no guarantee he will solve the problems at all. All he has promised is to install the batteries within 100 days.
Lyndon & @elonmusk – how serious are you about this bet? If I can make the $ happen (& politics), can you guarantee the 100MW in 100 days? https://twitter.com/mcannonbrookes/status/839762369332985856 …
@mcannonbrookes Tesla will get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free. That serious enough for you?
And the cost?
Musk may well have to come through on his offer. Cannon-Brookes said he would take a week to try and raise the funds and political support for the project. At an estimate cost of some A$200 million (£125m), its an expensive bet for Musk to take.
In other words, £125m for 100 MWh of storage.
Let’s put these numbers into some sort of perspective.
Wind power provided 13 TWh in the UK during Q1 last year. This equates to 142,857 MWh/day.
So for £125m, we could have enough battery storage to replace this wind power for a whole minute, should the wind stop.
I have corrected my comment about 142,857MWh – it now reads “per day” (originally omitted in error)