Solving Australia’s “energy crisis” within 100 days possible


CANBERRA, March 10 (PNA/Xinhua) — American car manufacturer and tech company Tesla believes it could solve Australia’s blackout crisis within 100 days through the use of the company’s small-scale and diversified energy storage system.

Following the launch of its Powerwall 2 power storage system, Tesla’s energy products vice-president Lyndon Rive commented on South Australia’s power woes, in which the state’s over-worked grid left tens of thousands of homes without power on four separate occasions since September last year.

Rive, who is the cousin of Tesla founder Elon Musk, said his company’s power storage technology could provide the state with up to 300 megawatt hours (Mwh) – or 15 percent of its power demand – within 100 days.

“We don’t have 300 Mwh sitting there ready to go but I’ll make sure there are. We could install everything and get it up and running within 100 days,” Rive said in comments published on Friday.

“With large centralised storage at sub-stations, and solar and storage (in homes and businesses) it will be near to impossible to take down the grid.”

Tesla’s power storage system stores excess solar power – often connected to a property – for use later, while the complex system can also send – and sell – excess energy back to the grid.

Rive said it was futile for Australia to continue down the same path of upgrading existing transmission lines considering it was cheaper for the government to opt for power storage.

“It makes no sense to duplicate infrastructure. By the time it gets up and running, the technology will be obsolete. It’s going to take years and it still doesn’t address the problem. It’s a band-aid,” Rive said.

“The only reason we’re building more transmission lines is to address congestion that may happen a few times a year. Storage can fill that gap.”

“Use the existing infrastructure and add battery storage and it solves the problem and it’s more cost effective. Why go the other path?”

Rive admitted that while the proposal seemed viable immediately, the Australian government would need to enact a change in the electricity market rules before the idea becomes a reality.

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