World's largest lithium-ion battery is ready to power-up

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Musk said that the clock would start when the contract was signed, and on that day (September 29th), the project was actually about half done, as the photo above shows.

Musk had promised the battery would be installed free of charge if it missed its 1 December 2017 deadline for completion. Testing is set to begin to provide grid security services in South Australia.

Tesla has managed to deliver something on time, even if it \'s falling behind its projections for the Model 3 electric vehicle: It has completed production of a massive battery farm in South Australia, which is created to capture and store energy produced by a wind farm and distribute it to the grid when it's needed most, in an effort to curb frequent summer blackouts.

For Musk, delivering the battery ahead of deadline would back up an earlier win where Tesla delivered a large battery project in Southern California in 90 days to alleviate the risk of winter blackouts. Last year, storm damage to South Australia's electrical grid caused a cascade of failures, leading to a massive blackout that left 1.7 million residents without power for as long as two weeks.

The new 2020 Tesla Roadster
The new 2020 Tesla Roadster

Musk tweeted: 'Congratulations to the Tesla crew and South Australian authorities who worked so hard to get this manufactured and installed in record time!'

Australia's energy market operator has warned that power supply will be tight this summer, particularly in South Australia and neighbouring Victoria, where one of the market's biggest coal-fired power plants was shut in March. Worldwide eyes will be watching the big battery goes live and as South Australia's grid comes under strain over the warmer months.

Analysts have estimated the battery should cost around $750 (US $585/£439) to $950 (US $741/£556) per kilowatt, or up to $95 million (US $74 million/ £56 million). Had Tesla failed, the company would not have taken a fee for the project.

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