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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Solarizing South Australia

Solarizing South Australia

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Friday, December 1, 2017/Categories: sustainability, environment, climate change

                   Operational Mega-Lithium Powerpack Jamestown, So. Australia, 12-1-2017 (credit: Tesla)

Today may go in the history books as a pivotal point in renewable electricity generation from solar and wind power. It signals the start of an energy transition in power generation. Tesla also won a bet.

Australia has been a leader in promoting residential and commercial solar power and is blessed with being one of the sunniest places on Earth. However, regions have experienced supply and distribution problems during peak periods when wind and solar energy production is low. South Australia, in particular, experienced power 'brownouts' when parts of the state 'went dark' in 2016. In stepped Elon Musk, Tesla's founder, who approached the State's prime minister and offered a bet that if he didn't complete construction of a lithium storage battery within 100 days of contract signing, South Australia could keep the mega-battery for free. An agreement with South Australia was signed September 29th and South Australia switched on the Tesla Powerpack facility today. There were even days to spare on the 100-day contract. Tesla's mega-battery began suppling electricity to the state's grid from electricity stored from existing solar and wind facilities.

As might be expected in a nation that loves placing a bet, Tesla's battery project was closely watched by the Australian press. News organizations have started saying 'History in the making' when the battery went into operation. The South Australian project also caught worldwide attention considering the potential for renewable energy elsewhere when the Tesla's Powerpack went online:

The opporutunity for renewable solar and wind energy to play an increasing role in electric power production made a big leap into the future today. The transition away from coal-powered electricity accelerated in earnest as well.

WHB

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