As our South Australian readers will tell you, the State has been having issues with their power. The network has been struggling, particularly with last month’s heatwave, which saw tens of thousands of homes experience blackouts.
Fall out from the heatwave saw governments blaming a variety of reasons including their opposing parties and even renewable energy, but it appears the main cause was an insufficient generation supply in the State. The decision to “load shed” (effectively switch off the power) saw over 40,000 customers affected for an average of 45 minutes, while the temperature hit about 40 degrees.
In the wake of the event, questions now remain about how to address the power shortage to avoid this happening in the future. Renewable energy company, Tesla, thinks they have the answer.
Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, has said that he could install a battery farm capable of fixing the system “within 100 days of signing a contract,” or he will deliver the system for free.
@mcannonbrookes Tesla will get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free. That serious enough for you?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 10, 2017
The company recently completed an installation of an 80MWH grid-scale battery farm in southern California within just 90 days, which cost $100m US. As The Guardian reports, grid scale battery storage could help even out price spikes, prevent blackouts and improve reliability across the network.
Since Musk’s comments, it has been confirmed that the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has spoken to Musk, where the two apparently had an “in depth discussion about the value of storage and the future of the electricity system.” The final outcome of that discussion remains to be known, but both the Prime Minister and Musk shared their excitement on Twitter.
Thanks @elonmusk for a great in depth discussion today about energy storage and it’s role in delivering affordable & reliable electricity
— Malcolm Turnbull (@TurnbullMalcolm) March 12, 2017
You’re most welcome. Very exciting to discuss the future of electricity. Renewables + storage arguably biggest disruption since DC to AC. https://t.co/7uXoUQf29f
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 12, 2017