News State SA News ‘History in the making’: SA Premier turns on largest lithium-ion battery in the world

‘History in the making’: SA Premier turns on largest lithium-ion battery in the world

Tesla battery
The launch on Friday of the 100-megawatt Tesla battery comes after a Twitter challenge to build the battery within 100 days of signing the contract. Photo: AAP
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The world’s largest lithium-ion battery has officially been turned on in South Australia as the state works to end its energy woes.

Tesla boss Elon Musk has made good on his promise to build the 100-megawatt facility on deadline or provide it free.

Premier Jay Weatherill officially flicked the switch at Jamestown on Friday saying it was history in the making.

“I want to express my gratitude to the workers who have constructed this battery, they have every right to be proud of what they have constructed,” Mr Weatherill said in a statement.

The battery had already begun dispatching some power into the state’s electricity network on Thursday afternoon as the state hit temperatures above 30C.

“South Australia is now leading the world in dispatchable renewable energy, delivered to homes and businesses 24/7,” Mr Weatherill said.

The battery is paired to the neighbouring Hornsdale Wind Farm, owned by French company Neoen, to bring added reliability and stability to the state’s electricity grid.

It has the capacity to power 30,000 homes for up to an hour in the event of a severe blackout, but is more likely to be called into action to even out electricity supplies at less critical times.

Its production came after a now-famous Twitter exchange between Mr Musk and Australian tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes, who challenged the Tesla boss to end SA’s energy issues.

Mr Musk responded that if he couldn’t build a 100-megawatt battery in 100 days from signing the contract, he would provide it for free.

At the end of the day, Tesla easily beat the deadline, finishing the battery in about 60 days, though it did get a head start on construction.