Elon Musk is not shy of a challenge. The billionaire entrepreneur behind Tesla has promised that he can install enough battery capacity in South Australia's power grid to fix the state's energy capacity problems within 100 days, and if he fails, will do the whole thing for free.
Musk made the promise after Tesla's vice president for energy products Lyndon Rive told the Australian Financial Review that a battery storage grid that can store between 100 and 300 megawatt hours of energy, enough to provide the extra capacity needed to prevent blackouts in the region, could be installed 100 days after a contract was signed.
The boast about extra capacity comes after increased battery production at Tesla's gigafactory in Nevada, but Musk showed he wasn't kidding by saying that if he didn't deliver, he'd do the whole thing for free. When Mike Cannon-Brookes, the billionaire founder of tech company Atlassian, asked if Rive was serious, Musk replied on Twitter with the promise.
@mcannonbrookes 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
Musk may well have to come through on his offer. Cannon-Brookes said he would take a week to try and raise the funds and political support for the project. At an estimate cost of some A$200 million (£125m), its an expensive bet for Musk to take.
Tesla is best known for its electric cars but has been investing heavily in the battery technology used in them. This has seen it branch out into energy storage and last year it bought solar power company SolarCity. Last year Tesla built 80 megawatt hours of capacity in California in 90 days when a gas plant was closed due to an emergency.
Storing electricity in massive batteries on the grid is meant to smooth out the peaks and troughs in energy production by storing energy when there is a surplus being produced and helping out when the grid is running at or above capacity. South Australia, home to almost 2 million people, suffered widespread blackouts last year due to a storm.