South Australia state has been experiencing blackouts during recent heat waves there that have caused energy demand to soar.
The gears started turning in an exchange Thursday night on Twitter. As Reuters reports, Mike Cannon-Brookes, the billionaire co-founder of Australian software company Atlassian, said he would provide both funding and political backing if Tesla could come up with batteries to solve the power outage problems in South Australia. Musk's reply was characteristically bold: "Tesla will get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free. That serious enough for you?"
Musk's quoted price for the system is AUD $250 per kilowatt hour for a 100-megawatt-hour system, and that works out to $25 million for the battery-pack setup. Cannon-Brookes replied that he would spend a week trying to get politics and funding "sorted out."
Thanks to increased production at Tesla's Gigafactory in Nevada, Musk might be able to keep his word. Tesla recently completed an 80-megawatt-hour system in Ontario, Calif., in 90 days. That project strings together 400 Tesla Powerpack lithium-ion battery units on a 1.5-acre site. It stores energy at night to add to the grid during peak hours. The Australian project would take 500 Powerpacks comprising 8 million individual battery cells.
The exchange comes as Tesla launches its Powerwall 2 household battery system in Australia this week, and after Tesla announced its power packs are now at work at the Hawaiian island of Kauai.