So Elon Musk has won his bet to build a 100MW storage battery for South Australia in 100 days and he doesn’t have to give it away free. Switch-on was due last Friday. South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill, who was due to visit the installation, said the battery storage system will help support South Australia during the upcoming summer season, and reduce its reliance on other states for additional energy.
The editor reflects: In 2002, I was one of a number of guests of SAFT and ABB to celebrate the commissioning of a 40MW battery in Fairbanks, Alaska.
There were a few local dignatories, a local Iditerod champion and the “hoi poloi of the US Department of Energy... including the famous Imry Gyuk, one of the midwives of grid scale energy storage. The event was hardly headline news and the battery certainly wasn’t built in three months. But at the time it by far the biggest storage battery in the world and little under half the capacity of Musk’s latest creation. The technology was nickel cadmium. How times have changed. Energy storage has come of age.