Why Is Elon Musk Gambling Millions Of Dollars On Batteries?

Posted March 13, 2017

Since September, the Australian state of South Australia has suffered a string of blackouts, which has triggered fierce political debate over the state's dependence on renewable energy, and how to avoid the problem going forward.

Lyndon Rive, who heads Tesla's battery division, said in an interview with Australia's AFR that the company was capable of delivering the battery packs thanks to increased production at its gigafactory in Nevada.

Soon after, Aussie Atlassian co-founder, and fellow billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes, appeared to back the novel approach, saying on Twitter that he would "make the $ happen" if Musk could guarantee 100 mega-watts in 100 days.

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This week Tesla said energy storage could solve the state's electricity problems and work could be completed within 100 days, or it would be free. "That serious enough for you?", Musk wrote on Twitter.

The Twitter conversation between Musk and Mike Cannon-Brookes, one of the founders of Australia's Atlassian Corp, will nearly definitely be added to the archives of Musk's biggest undertakings.

SA Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young replied to Musk: "Let's talk!"

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Clean Energy Finance Corp chief executive Oliver Yates said they have been talking to multiple large-scale battery providers regarding possible storage solutions, including in South Australia.

The Tesla CEO said he can update the country's electrical grid within 3 months to prevent future energy blackouts. But Turnbull's 2013 election win resulted in the tax on carbon being cancelled and the new government lowered its targets for how much energy will be drawn from wind and solar by 2020.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk showed the world how to do business in the modern day cut-throat world. 100 MW in 100 days is within the realms of possibility. No word on when the government might make a decision, but Cannon-Brookes is apparently interested in helping. The SpaceX emperor and Tesla overlord has been keeping an eye on the power blackouts that keep hitting South Australia, and he's chose to step in and lend a hand.

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Mr Weatherill confirmed to advertiser.com.au that he had "positive discussions" with Mr Musk "regarding his battery proposal".