A 100-megawatt battery has gone into operation in South Australia, a region badly hit by electricity blackouts in recent times.
The world’s largest lithium ion battery was built by Tesla following a pledge by its CEO Elon Musk. The battery can power up to 30,000 homes for an hour when fully charged, but will primarily be used to back-up existing electricity supplies, and would keep servers running during power outages. Tesla said the battery "shows that a sustainable, effective energy solution is possible".
South Korea is hot on the heels of Tesla, with plans to launch a battery storage facility next year that is 50% larger than Tesla’s Australia site. Firms in China, as well as Amazon, Target and many renewable energy firms, are either installing battery storage systems or expressing an interest in doing so. It is clear that mega-batteries will play a big role in the future of electricity supplies.
Tesla’s battery, which is connected to a wind farm run by French energy company Neoen, is located approximately 125 miles north of Adelaide, with smaller Tesla batteries currently in operation in Southern California, Hawaii, New Zealand, the UK, and on several Pacific islands.
Elon Musk had previously promised that Tesla would build the battery within 100 days of the contract being signed for the project, otherwise the state of South Australia would receive it for free. Tesla built the battery in 60 days.
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Photo Credit: JD Lasica - Flickr