The world’s biggest battery, touted as the answer to one of the world’s most pressing power problems, is undergoing final tests in the dusty hamlet of Jamestown, South Australia. The array of hundreds of sleek, silver units will act as an emergency back-up for the state’s power system and help it to cope with electricity demand during peak periods, such as heatwaves, allowing South Australia’s burgeoning renewable output to be stored and released when it is most needed. The battery array was built after a high-stakes bet by Elon Musk, 46, the US technology billionaire behind Tesla electric cars, that he could meet a 100-day building deadline or he would give the system away. The regional grid suffered a failure last year when a storm tore through transmission towers and power lines leaving almost the entire state, about four times the size of the UK, without electricity. The new battery is the most powerful ever built and could sustain much of Adelaide’s population of 1.3 million for about an hour and 17 minutes if the electricity system were hit by another crisis, allowing time for repairs.
Times 27th Nov 2017 read more »