Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk has been transitioning his company into the clean energy business and its name change in February only serves to highlight that idea. In fact, Musk is very keen on promoting solar energy as the best source of renewable energy and his enthusiasm and confidence seems to rub off on his colleagues.
Lyndon Rive, vice president of energy products at Tesla, said in a recent interview that he is confident the company can build the necessary storage to save South Australia from its energy crisis.
"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 claimed at the Powerwall 2 launch in a converted substation at Newport, near Melbourne.
He also reminded that Tesla faced and succeeded in a similar challenge in Southern California in 2016 when the company built a power plant in 90 days.
What is Powerwall 2?
Powerwall 2 is Tesla's answer to the storage deficiency that solar-powered houses encounter. The wall-mounted battery is capable of storing surplus solar energy to serve as back-up power even when the sun is out.
Initially, the company offered batteries that can store 7 kWh and 10 kWh energy storage with its Powerwall, but that was not enough so Tesla doubled the storage capacity and added a built-in inverter with Powerwall 2 and promised that it will be able to power up a two-bedroom home for a full day.
It is not at all surprising that someone would react to Rive's claims and it so happened that Atlassian co-founder Mike Cannon-Brookes went straight to Musk to confirm them.
On March 9, Cannon-Brookes called out to Rive and Musk in a tweet asking how serious they are about the declaration, and if they can really deliver on the promise of 100 kWh in 100 days if he facilitates political discussions and raises the money for it.
— Mike Cannon-Brookes (@mcannonbrookes) March 9, 2017
Less than 24 hours later, Musk boldly bet that Tesla can assure that things will be completely set up in 100 days upon contract signing date or they will waive the entire fee for the undertaking.
@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
Cannon-Brookes then asked about pricing and asked Musk to give him seven days to sort out politics and funding for it, as well as called out to his fellow Australians to take Musk up on the challenge.
@elonmusk legend! You’re on mate. Give me 7 days to try sort out politics & funding. DM me a quote for approx 100MW cost - mates rates!
— Mike Cannon-Brookes (@mcannonbrookes) March 10, 2017
@heosat 100MW. They put out the challenge. I say as a nation we should take them up on it. Planning is easier to solve than that much Li — Mike Cannon-Brookes (@mcannonbrookes) March 9, 2017
Musk, however, reminded him that while Tesla is moving to fixed and open pricing for its products, the pricing could still balloon, depending on the country's tax and installation labor rates.
@mcannonbrookes $250/kWh at the pack level for 100MWh+ systems. Tesla is moving to fixed and open pricing and terms for all products.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 10, 2017
@shails Yes, but shipping, taxes/tariffs and installation labor vary by country, as those costs are beyond our control — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 10, 2017
At least Cannon-Brookes has one less politician to convince because South Australia senator Sarah Hanson-Young saw the exchange and invited Musk to talk about it.
— Sarah Hanson-Young (@sarahinthesen8) March 10, 2017
A Change.org petition to bring the Tesla solution to South Australia was also started by one of Cannon-Brooke's followers and it will be delivered to Premier Jay Weatherill once it meets the required number of signatures.