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Trevor Collett | Jul, 07 2017 | 0 Comments

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has maintained his “100 days or it’s free” promise to assist South Australia with its energy problems.

Speaking with media today, Musk said the promise was “in the contract”, as South Australia and Tesla prepare to build the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery called the Tesla Powerpack.

Currently, the record stands at 30 mega-watts, but the SA project will smash that figure with a world-first 100 mega-watt, 129 MWh system.

Musk went as far as to say that the size of the system might even make it attractive to tourists.

Said tourists - including Musk, who promised a visit to the site before leaving Australia - will need to head to Jamestown, north east of Adelaide and around 70km east of Port Pirie.

Jamestown is home to a wind farm, with operator Neoen to also be involved in the project.

Musk said the battery packs should continue to operate efficiently for around 15 years, but ‘dying’ battery cells could be recycled and substituted with fresh batteries.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk

The associated electronics, including the plant’s cooling system, could last for up to 30 years. Upon completion, the Powerpack will be able to store enough energy to power 30,000 homes.

South Australian company CPP will be involved in the build, and Musk joined with South Australia's Premier Jay Weatherill saying that the project would create jobs for the southern state.

Currently, South Australia has Australia’s worst unemployment figure at around seven percent, and the impending loss of Holden and associated suppliers will put further pressure on the jobless rate.

Also, the state became the butt of the nation’s jokes last year when the lights went out for over 1.5 million South Australians following a storm.

While the pioneering project promises to alleviate some of SA’s energy woes, the big unknown at this stage is cost.

Tesla entered into a competitive tender to get the gig, but when asked, Musk said he would leave it to the SA Government to disclose the cost if they wish.

Completion is expected before the end of the year, with Musk saying he hoped the Tesla Powerpack would make a “significant statement for the viability of renewable energy to the world”.

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