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Elon Musk Makes Another Nearly Impossible-To-Keep Promise

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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Elon Musk promised to fix South Australia’s energy crisis in 100 days despite the tech entrepreneur’s pitiful track record of following through on crucial deadlines.

The Tesla CEO said he can update the country’s electrical grid within 3 months to prevent future energy blackouts. Musk also said that if he can’t install $25 million of battery storage within the deadline, then he’ll do all the work for free.

“Just spoke with Premier of South Australia (Jay Weatherill). Very impressed. Govt is clearly committed to a smart, quick solution,” Musk wrote on Twitter, referring to his conversation with Prime Minister Jay Weatherill.

Weatherill, for his part, said the conversation about the battery proposal was “positive”.

Recent history indicates Australia should hedge its bets on Musk’s promise — the billionaire tech guru has a problem meeting deadlines. Tesla missed its quarterly delivery mark by more than 3,000 vehicles during the second quarter of 2016. The company’s deliveries were 15 percent less than forecast and were even lower than the first quarter of that year.

The electric vehicle maker manufactures cars after they are purchased. It sold 14,370 cars, down from the 17,000 it expected to sell, according to a letter sent to shareholders in 2016.

Tesla was unable to produce the 80,000-90,000 vehicle deliveries for the year — the company justified the slowdown in production by suggesting it has had to focus on the production of the Model X, a sport utility vehicle.

Australia has been struggling to keep blackouts at bay after dramatically increasing its dependence on solar and wind power.

Australia’s Energy Council noted last year that increasing use of solar and wind power in the state “has not only led to a series of technical challenges” but “also increased wholesale price volatility as the state rebalances its supply from dispatchable plant to intermittent generation.”

Roughly 25 percent of homes in South Australia currently have solar panels installed, and the state gets 41 percent of its power from wind, solar and other green sources. Officials believe fluctuations in the supply of wind power caused a blackout affecting 1.7 million people in South Australia in September, 2016.

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