The world’s biggest battery was officially launched in Australia on Friday, a day after the Elon Musk-driven project was powered up early to meet demand amid a bout of hot weather, officials said.
Musk’s Tesla built the Powerpack system, which can provide electricity for more than 30,000 homes, to ease South Australia’s energy woes after the state was hit with a total blackout in 2016 following an unprecedented storm.
The maverick billionaire earlier this year offered on Twitter to build the battery farm, and completed it last week to narrowly beat his self-imposed deadline of having it ready in 100 days.
“South Australia is now leading the world in dispatchable renewable energy, delivered to homes and businesses 24/7. This is history in the making,” state Premier Jay Weatherill said Friday at the launch to coincide with the first day of summer.
The 100 MW/129 MWh battery, located in the rural town of Jamestown north of Adelaide and connected to a wind farm operated by French energy firm Neoen, was switched on a day early, just as temperatures soar in the state.
The Australian Energy Market Operator said it delivered 70MW of stored wind energy into the state’s market to meet peak demand on Thursday.
The battery farm is expected to help tackle power shortages, reduce intermittencies and address demands in summer, when most of the country experiences its highest energy usage.