Tesla Finishes Building World's Largest Battery Month and a Half Ahead of Schedule
The 100-megawatt Powerpack system is the world's largest, or three times bigger than Tesla and Edison's battery at Mira Loma in Ontario, California.
The Tesla CEO was responding to a challenge from Australian IT billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes to help fix the Australian state's electricity woes. Losing the bet would have cost Musk "probably $50 million or more."
As it happens, when the grid connection deal was finally signed on Sept. 29—kick-staring the 100-day clock—Tesla was already halfway finished with installation. So if you want to be technical, you could say that the project was finished a month and a half before the contract's deadline. The company originally estimated completion by December 2017.
According to Business Insider, when fully charged, the battery should hold enough power for 8,000 homes for 24 hours, or more than 30,000 houses for an hour during a blackout.
"While others are just talking, we are delivering our energy plan, making South Australia more self-sufficient, and providing back up power and more affordable energy for South Australians this summer," said Premier Jay Weatherill in a media statement.
"The world's largest lithium ion battery will be an important part of our energy mix, and it sends the clearest message that South Australia will be a leader renewable energy with battery storage."
Weatherill said that regulatory testing over the next few days will ensure that the battery is optimized and meets energy market regulatory requirements before operations commence on Dec. 1.
Musk tweeted, "Congratulations to the Tesla crew and South Australian authorities who worked so hard to get this manufactured and installed in record time!"
The move comes after regional authorities declared a state of emergency over the weekend after sightings of more than 50 bears in the town of Belushya Guba since December.
This year's letter from Bill and Melinda Gates focused on nine things that surprised them. For the Microsoft-cofounder, one thing he was surprised to learn was the massive amount of new buildings the planet should expect in the coming decades due to urban population growth.
"The number of buildings in the world is going to double by 2060. It's like we're going to build a new New York City every month for the next 40 years," he said.
By Shana Udvardy
After a dearth of action on climate change and a record year of extreme events in 2017, the inclusion of climate change policies within the annual legislation Congress considers to outline its defense spending priorities (the National Defense Authorization Act) for fiscal year 2018 was welcome progress. House and Senate leaders pushed to include language that mandated that the Department of Defense (DoD) incorporate climate change in their facility planning (see more on what this section of the bill does here and here) as well as issue a report on the impacts of climate change on military installations. Unfortunately, what DoD produced fell far short of what was mandated.
Trump is losing his rallying cry to save coal. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) voted on Thursday to retire two coal-fired power plants in the next few years despite a plea from the president to keep one of the plants open.
Earlier this week, the president posted an oddly specific tweet that urged the government-owned utility to save the 49-year-old Paradise 3 plant in Kentucky. It so happens that the facility burns coal supplied by Murray Energy Corporation, whose CEO is Robert Murray, is a major Trump donor.