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Tesla to the Rescue? Elon Musk Offers Solution for Australian Blackouts

elon musk unveils powerwall
Elon Musk unveils the Powerwall system at a press briefing on April 30, 2015. (Image credit: Tesla Motors)

Can South Australia's power crisis be solved in 100 days? Elon Musk said he thinks so, and he even bet on it.

The Tesla CEO took to Twitter on today (March 10) to offer the Australian state a solution to its worsening blackouts. South Australia is a renewable-energy-dependent state, and the market has been in short supply recently, causing blackouts across the region, reported Reuters.

Backup battery power could avert blackouts, Reuters reported, and Musk offered to install $25 million in Tesla battery storage for South Australia. In fact, Musk gave himself a 100-day deadline for the installation — or the batteries would be free. [Top 10 Craziest Environmental Ideas]

Musk's offer came in response to a call-out on social media by Mike Cannon-Brookes, the co-founder of Australian software company Atlassian, Reuters said. Cannon-Brookes said he would find funding and political support for the battery farm if Tesla would supply the batteries.

"Tesla will get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature, or it is free. That serious enough for you?" Musk replied in a tweet, Reuters reported.

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In a follow-up tweet, Musk offered Cannon-Brookes a pricing quote for the project: $250 per kilowatt-hour of energy for 100-megawatt-hour systems, according to Reuters, which amounts to a total of $25 million for the batteries.

Cannon-Brookes told Reuters he was already fielding calls from people in support of the project, including companies offering funding. Though the offers were made on social media, the South Australia government said it would support the offer of Tesla batteries, according to Reuters.

"The government stands ready through ARENA [the Australian Renewable Energy Agency] and the CEFC [the Clean Energy Finance Corporation] to work with companies with serious proposals to support the deployment of more storage," Josh Frydenberg, the Australian environment and energy minister, said in an email to Reuters.

Tesla's work in renewable energy was in the news earlier this week, too, with the completion of a solar farm on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. The project includes a 13-megawatt solar farm and a 52-megawatt-hour battery installation, reported The Verge. Solar energy generated from the farm could reduce fossil fuel consumption by 1.6 million gallons of fuel per year, the Verge said.

Original article on Live Science.

Kacey Deamer is a journalist for Live Science, covering planet earth and innovation. She has previously reported for Mother Jones, the Reporter's Committee for Freedom of the Press, Neon Tommy and more. After completing her undergraduate degree in journalism and environmental studies at Ithaca College, Kacey pursued her master's in Specialized Journalism: Climate Change at USC Annenberg. Follow Kacey on Twitter.