A Serious Tweet
Elon Musk is never shy about making grand announcements and declaring his ambitious plans, especially when they're anchored in his vision for a more sustainable future. His latest promise is to help South Australia create a solar farm that will address the their energy issues in just one hundred days — or he'll do the work for free.
In South Australia, energy prices continue to surge, and local companies remain unable to meet public energy demand — mostly due to environmental concerns. Last year, storms led to a state-wide blackout that shut down operations for numerous ports and public transportation, as well as disrupting business operations in the fifth most populous state in the country.
To that end, co-founder of SolarCity (and Musk’s cousin) Lyndon Rive says they're capable of installing 100 to 300 megawatt per hour battery storage, which could solve South Australia’s energy issues. And while Rive doesn't "have 300 MWh sitting there ready to go,” he told AFR that he can certainly get them.
After making this statement, Mike Cannon-Brookes, CEO of Atlassian, tweeted Lyndon and Musk if they were indeed serious about the offer.
@mcannonbrookes Tesla will get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free. That serious enough for you?
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 10, 2017
Making It Happen
On Cannon-Brookes' end, he asked for seven days to “sort out politics and funding,” at which point he also requested that the Tesla CEO send an approximate quote on how much a 100MW battery farm — at “mates rates” — would cost.
According to Musk, it would cost $250 per kWh to produce over 100MWh. He's confident that Tesla could get the system installed and working within one hundred days of signing a contract.
Assuming that Cannon-Brookes can indeed secure the paperwork needed to get the project underway, Tesla certainly has a reputation when it comes to delivering on its promises. Last year, Tesla took on a similar project in California: a 80MW farm that was completed in just 90 days that provided grid-scale power in response to possible power shortages.