Tesla’s Musk offers to fix South Australia’s power crisis in 100 days
UNTV News • March 11, 2017 • 2709
FILE PHOTO: Tesla Chief Executive, Elon Musk enters the lobby of Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York, U.S., January 6, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo
Tesla Inc boss Elon Musk on Friday offered to save Australia’s most renewable-energy dependent state from blackouts by installing $25 million worth of battery storage within 100 days, and offering it for free if he missed the target.
The offer follows a string of power outages in the state of South Australia, including a blackout that left industry crippled for up to two weeks and stoked fears of more outages across the national electricity market due to tight supplies.
Musk made the offer on social media, and the government said it could consider backing such a battery roll out by Tesla.
“The government stands ready through ARENA and the CEFC to work with companies with serious proposals to support the deployment of more storage,” Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said in an email to Reuters.
ARENA is the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the CEFC is the Clean Energy Finance Corp.
Musk made the offer in response to a comment on social media by Mike Cannon-Brookes, the co-founder of Australian software maker Atlassian Corp, who said he would be willing to line up funding and political support if Tesla could supply batteries that would solve South Australia’s problems.
Musk responded by tweeting: “Tesla will get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free. That serious enough for you?”
He quoted a price of $250 per kilowatt hour for 100 megawatt hour systems, which would imply a price of $25 million for the battery packs.
“You’re on mate. Give me 7 days to try and sort out politics & funding,” tweeted Cannon-Brookes.
He said he was inundated with calls on Friday after the exchange and was eager to get the plan off the ground.
“My phone hasn’t stopped buzzing. The support is flooding in, both from individuals in terms of ‘Hell yes!’ and from corporates who are asking: ‘Can we buy power? Can we contribute dollars?’,” Cannon-Brookes told Reuters.
Tesla launched its Powerwall 2 in Australia, the world’s top market for rooftop solar, this week. Battery storage is just one of several options the government is looking at to help ensure reliable power supplies as the country grows more reliant on intermittent wind and solar power.
“We have been talking with a number of large-scale battery providers about potential storage solutions, including in South Australia. To the extent Tesla is interested, we’ll also talk with them,” Clean Energy Finance Corp Chief Executive Oliver Yates said in an emailed statement.
After a record-breaking summer, Australia’s energy market operator said this week that eastern Australia desperately needed more gas for power stations within the next two years to provide back-up electricity for wind and solar and avert blackouts. — By Sonali Paul | MELBOURNE
(Reporting by Sonali Paul; Editing by Randy Fabia and Edmund Blair)
MANILA, Philippines – Power rates are seen to shoot up in the coming months along with a series of power interruptions, according to the group Infrawatch PH.
It’s because the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has not approved all six new power supply agreements which Meralco is eyeing to source its supply from.
According to former congressman now Infrawatch PH Convenor Terry Riddon, ERC should have decided on the agreement as early as November 22.
But until now, the agreements have not yet been finalized even as Meralco’s power supply agreement (PSA) are set to expire on December 26.
This would likely result in power shortage and power rate increase in the coming months, according to Riddon.
“Natatakot po tayo na pagka nag-lapse po yung mga kontrata ng ilan pong tinatawag na PSAs ay kukuha po tayo ng kuryente sa spot market(It worries us that once the PSAs expire, we will need to source our electricity from the spot market),” he explained.
“Siyempre alam naman po natin kapag hindi contracted price may tendency na sumipa yung presyo ng kuryente (And as we all know, contracted price could result in power rate hikes),” he added.
But ERC denied stalling the new PSA as they received the applications only in October 22 this year.
Under the law, ERC has at least 75 days to issue a provisional authority on such type of agreements.
“Hindi ko alam kung saan nanggaling yung notion na nagkakaroon ng delay, (I don’t know from where that notion of a delay came from),” defended ERC Spokesperson Florinda Digal.
“Kapag file ng application sine-set namin for hearing, so may aksyon na kami. I think hindi lang naipaliwanag sa kanila na may proseso kasi bawat application na pina-file dito sa amin and gumagalaw yung application in accordance with the procedure,” she explained further.
(Once the application is filed, we set the hearing right away, so there’s action. I think, it was not explained to them properly that there is a process to follow and that the application is working in accordance with the procedure.)
The ERC maintained that it will not allow any delays in contracts that could result in shortage of power supply and high electricity prices that would inconvenience consumers.
“This is what we want to assure the public whenever we receive applications tinitignan din namin kung ano yung magiging epekto nito at syempre hindi kami papayag na magkaroon ng deficiency sa supply just because something is pending with us,” Digal said.
(This is what we want to assure the public whenever we receive applications. We look at their effects and of course, we do not allow deficiencies in the supply just because something is pending with us.)
Meanwhile, Meralco vows to cooperate with the government in order to minimize the impact on the consumers.
“We are committed to work with the government in ensuring that we obtain the least cost for consumers,” Meralco’s spokesperson Joe Zaldarriga assured. MNP (with reports from Joan Nano)
Elon Musk’s start-up Neuralink is aiming to connect the human brain with a machine interface “before the end of next year,” the CEO announced on Tuesday (July 16).
Speaking at a conference in San Francisco, Musk presented ‘version one” of his neuron-sized threads and microprocessor chips that he claims will help people with severe brain injuries and eventually grow to allow humans to connect with advancing artificial intelligence (A.I.) technology.
The implantation of the threads, which Musk said are a tenth the size of a human hair, require the use of a special robot, but a minimally invasive surgery.
Once the threads are implanted into the brain, their connecting chip would wirelessly connect with a device worn outside the body.
Neuralink is seeking U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval and while Musk said his preliminary task is to help people with disabilities interface with computers using their minds, the end goal is to keep up with A.I.
Tuesday’s conference was designed as a marketing tool – Musk told the crowd gathered at the California Academy of Sciences that Neuralink was actively seeking out potential employees to join their team. (REUTERS)
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