Musk Wins $50M Bet


Outside of one small territory, Australia doesn’t celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday as we do in the U.S. Regardless, Elon Musk gave residents in the southern part of the country something to be thankful for - the world’s largest lithium-ion battery pack.

The 100-megawatt capacity Powerpack System that Tesla delivered is designed to store and distribute renewable energy. It will be teamed with a nearby wind farm to store excess energy created by the turbines and distributed as necessary. The new battery pack adds to the overall system’s capacity and reliability.

Last year, the South Australian government began looking more closely at their energy infrastructure after a storm left 1.7 million residents without power. Heading into 2017, many were still subject to blackouts stemming from the storm. This led Musk to tweet out on March 9 that Tesla could solve the region’s energy woes by producing and installing the aforementioned battery pack within 100 days of signing a contract, or he’d foot the bill. Although work began before the actual contract was finalized on September 29, the project was completed last Friday, November 24th – meaning Tesla cleared the deadline with time to spare.

The electricity delivered by the battery pack is reportedly enough to power more than 30,000 homes. For Musk and Tesla, this region’s acceptance of renewable energy provides a nearly perfect case study for growing beyond electric automobiles.

The company’s Powerpack and commercial Powerwall battery systems, as well as the battery packs used by their vehicles, are made at their Gigafactory in Nevada. Designed to be built in stages, the facility currently stands at about one-third of its final size, but already consumes nearly five million square feet of operational space.

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