Although falling back in its forecasts for the Model 3 electric car; Tesla has managed to deliver a huge 100MWh battery farm in South Australia within an impressive 100 days. Elon Musk, founder of PayPal, Tesla Motors, and SpaceX; had accepted a $50 million competitive bid to deliver the job in the given timeframe or else he would do the job for free. This 100MWh battery farm is now the largest in the world making South Australia a leader in dispatchable renewable energy.
Why is was needed?
This drastic step and pledge by Elon Musk was taken due to the continuous power shortages, summer blackouts and political uncertainty in the region. Thanks to the Tesla battery farm, now 30,000 homes will be provided with power at full capacity for an hour. This farm is will use wind energy from a wind farm in Hornsdale to capture, store and distribute energy in the grid when it is needed the most
Australia is endowed with strong winds that can help it in moving towards renewable energy sources. However, the winds are not always blowing. Hence, a more focus was given into storing such energy and this is why the 129-megawatt battery was built.
The Tesla battery farm opened on 1st December fulfilling the aim to become operational before the summers kick in. In the blistering heat of the summers, the residents crank up the AC and there are power shortages in many regions. Moreover in 2016, 1.7 million Australians faced power blackouts due to an apocalyptic storm that tore down the electricity pylons to the ground. This battery farm will hopefully help to combat such issues.
Undoubtedly, Tesla has achieved a great milestone. However, there are still some issues that need to be targeted to make this battery farm a complete success:
Firstly, Australia is still powered at large by natural gas that is a huge cause of greenhouse gas emission and global warming. Along with this Tesla battery farm; Australia should shift its focus on developing more renewable energy which is environmentally friendly in the long run.
Secondly, the loss of power lines in storms is the main cause of blackouts. Even reliable power plants cannot make up for such losses. The region needs to focus on modern microgrids with sophisticated data sensing that can trace the fault before the problem escalates. Hence, for longer sustainability, Musk needs to divert his attention and resources to developing a strong local grid that can work in harmony with the country’s bountiful energy resources.
Hope for a better future
The Tesla battery farm does not only solve energy problems for the 30,000 homes in its grid. It is also a proof that a realistic and long term renewable energy source exists. This renewable energy source is not only viable but also environmentally friendly.
Moreover such a renewable source is manageable in less than 100 days. A spokesperson at Tesla was optimistic and proud that this renewable energy model can be used to build more energy farms throughout the world.