Australia takes Musk up on offer to fix their energy crisis. Other nations may follow.
Storms in Australia have caused damage to their electrical grid, and as a result, the country has faced blackouts that prompted energy companies to raise their rates in order to meet demands. It isn’t an ideal situation, but it may soon have a solution. Elon Musk’s cousin, Lyndon Rive, suggested battery storage as an energy solution for South Australia, and soon after, Musk was given the go ahead to install 100 to 300 megawatts of storage.
When Rive made the suggestion, Mike Cannon-Brookes, CEO of Atlassian, asked Rive and Musk on twitter how serious they were. He asked whether 100MW of power could be installed, providing Cannon-Brookes could secure funding and a contract. Musk replied “Tesla will get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free. That serious enough for you?” Following this, Cannon-Brookes asked for a week to secure the funding and deal with the politics, and now Musk has been given the go-ahead for the project.
If this seems like a tall order, one just needs to look to California, where Tesla last year installed a similar 80MW energy storage farm in just 90 days. Many Australians are elated by this development, and Musk has received plenty of praise, including from the country’s prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, who thanked the Tesla CEO after an in-depth discussion about energy storage and how batteries can produce affordable and reliable electricity when demand on the grid is high.
Other nations have now approached Elon Musk with similar inquiries, including several citizens from the Ukraine, who asked how much such a system would cost. Musk quoted them the same number he gave Australia, $250 per KWh to produce over 100MWh. Following the discussion, the Ukrainian Prime Minister approached Tesla for a more in-depth discussion. In New Zealand, co-founder of agricultural technology firm Acuris Systems Matthew Warner, asked Musk if he would be willing to visit in order discuss a similar project.