Elon Musk thinks he can solve Australia’s national energy emergency in just 100 days, and he’s willing to bet quite a bit of money on it.
Lyndon Rive, Musk’s cousin and Tesla’s vice president of energy products, told the Australian Financial Review that the company could use its Powerwall 2 rechargeable battery to build enough energy to solve the supply problems in the state of South Australia.
Oh, and he said he could do it in just 100 days.
Such an emphatic claim was destined to get picked up and turned into a bet. First to the punch was Atlassian co-founder and billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes.
Understandably, his first reaction:
His second is a bit more forward thinking:
Cannon-Brookes received a reply less than a day later. Not by Rive, but by the outspoken Tesla CEO Elon Musk himself.
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
The Atlassian co-founder, who seems ecstatic about the idea, asked for seven days and a price estimate:
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
But it won’t come cheap. The batteries alone could cost $200 million Australian (around $150 million USD) based on Cannon-Brookes’ preliminary estimates, according to the Australian Financial Review. Who will shell out for the solution—whether it be Cannon-Brookes, Elon Musk, the Australian government, or some combination of the three—remains a mystery.
South Australia suffered a statewide blackout last September. In February more than 40,000 homes were intentionally blacked out during a heatwave to avoid using the region’s diminished energy supply.