December 5, 2017
Regular readers of this blog are well-acquainted with my concern (some might call it my obsession) about climate change and the need to wean ourselves from fossil fuels. At a time when there is rarely any good news in this regard, here’s a piece of good news in this regard:
Tesla has built the biggest battery in the world in just two months — all because of a Twitter bet. After massive lightning storms knocked out South Australia’s power grid last year, Australian politicians blamed the state’s reliance on renewable energy for the mass blackouts, saying wind and solar couldn’t cover baseline electricity needs in an emergency. Tesla responded that it could build 100 megawatts’ worth of giant lithium batteries in just 100 days to solve the state’s problem; the battery farm will store huge amounts of energy from renewable sources and transmit it as needed. Asked on Twitter if the offer was real, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted: “Tesla will get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free.” The company finished 40 days ahead of schedule.
And even better news: Tesla’s Australian battery will not be the world’s largest for long. Hyundai recently announced that it will be building a $45 million, 150-megawatt system, to be installed in February at a Korean zinc refinery.