Elon Musk's giant battery is set for testing in South Australia
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Elon Musk's giant battery is set for testing in South Australia

Billionaire Elon Musk's giant battery being built in South Australia will be energised in coming days and begin testing, indicating Tesla is on track to meet a 100-day self-imposed deadline to install the system.

Tesla power packs have now been fully installed on a site near a wind farm north of Adelaide and will be tested to ensure the battery meets standards laid down by the energy market operator, the South Australia state government said in a statement on Thursday.

South Australia's Premier Jay Weatherill said in the statement he will join representatives from Tesla and others next week to officially launch the battery, which "has put South Australia and Jamestown on the map as a world leader in renewable energy with battery storage."

"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", he said.

The world’s biggest lithium iron battery farm takes shape near Jamestown, 200 kilometres north of Adelaide.

The world’s biggest lithium iron battery farm takes shape near Jamestown, 200 kilometres north of Adelaide.

Photo: Neoen
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Musk is building the world's largest lithium-ion battery system to help the state avert crippling electricity blackouts that have spurred a nationwide debate about security of energy supply.

The 100 megawattt/129 MWh system is designed to reduce intermittency issues and manage increased demand during summer peak loading periods, potentially providing enough energy to power 30,000 homes for eight hours, or 60,000 homes for four hours.

It will be paired with French firm Neoen's Hornsdale wind farm, located near Jamestown, about 200 kilometres north of Adelaide.

The powerpacks will be manufactured at Tesla's Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada.

Elon Musk has a lot riding on the timely delivery of the project, having bet his company can build and install the unit power in 100 days, or the $US50 million s($63 million) ystem is free.

Elon Musk has a lot riding on the timely delivery of the project, having bet his company can build and install the unit power in 100 days, or the $US50 million s($63 million) ystem is free.

Photo: Carla Gottgens

Futurist chief executive Elon Musk made a bet on Twitter in March that he could install a 100-megawatt storage facility within 100 days or it would be free, and the clock started ticking at the end of September when the contract was signed.

For Musk, delivering the battery ahead of deadline would back up an earlier win where Tesla delivered a large battery project in Southern California in 90 days to alleviate the risk of winter blackouts.

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Tesla has missed almost every aggressive product milestone it set for itself in the past decade and its mass-market electric sedan has been hit by production delays.

Bloomberg with BusinessDay.

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