South Australian Tesla battery ready ahead of schedule as R&D Bill shelved

Premier Jay Weatherill will officially flick the switch to launch the world's biggest lithium-ion battery at Jamestown in South Australia on Friday.

The world's largest lithium-ion battery is about to be officially launched in South Australia as the state works to end its energy woes.

Tech billionaire Elon Musk has made good on his promise that his company Tesla would build the 100-megawatt facility on deadline or provide it for free.

Premier Jay Weatherill will officially flick the switch at Jamestown on Friday, although the battery has already begun dispatching some power into the state's electricity network.

"For the first time, SA Battery to deliver 70MW [sic] of stored wind energy into SA market during today's peak period -- ahead of schedule," Australia's Energy Market Operator tweeted on Thursday afternoon.

It is paired to the neighbouring Hornsdale Wind Farm, owned by French company Neoen, to bring added reliability and stability to the state's electricity grid.

The battery has the capacity to power 30,000 homes for up to an hour in the event of a severe blackout, but is more likely to be called into action to even out electricity supplies at less critical times.

When first announced in July, the battery came with a guarantee from Musk that it would be working within 100 days of the grid interconnection agreement being signed, or it would be free for the South Australian government.

Tesla has easily beaten that deadline, finishing the battery in about 60 days from inking the deal, although it did get a headstart on construction.

Earlier this week, Tesla opened up reservation for its all-electric Semi. The 300-mile model is available for $150,000, while a 500-mile model will be $180,000, and a 1,000-unit release called the Founders Series Semi is set for a $200,000 price point.

The company has made no guarantees on delivery dates.

The South Australian government has boasted that it now leads the world in energy storage, and was looking to boost research in the state with a Bill that would have allowed companies to receive a declaration that could have potentially waived most South Australian laws.

"To the extent that the governor considers necessary for the purposes of the project or activity and subject to this section, provide that an Act, specified provision of an Act, or any other law does not apply, or applies with specified modifications, in respect of the project or activity," the Research, Development and Innovation Bill 2017 states.

However, the proposed legislation was set aside by the government last night.

"Today I spoke against this sneaky government Bill," South Australian Greens MLC Tammy Franks said. "While the Greens have always supported research, development, and innovation, this Bill would effectively be able to suspend over 500 current laws at the stroke of a pen for a Research and Development Declaration.

"We've stopped this Bill for the moment, but I suspect it will be back with a vengeance next year. We'll be keeping our eyes on this one," she concluded.

The Bill was criticised by the Law Society of South Australia for not containing appropriate safeguards, and for allowing acts undertaken in good faith under a declaration to be deemed lawful.

"Someone may be acting in an unlawful manner, be seriously misguided, and yet act in good faith. That such action would be considered lawful and binding, particularly in the circumstances proposed of no liability on the part of the government or potentially acting in reference to the declaration, for such action, is plainly inappropriate," the Law Society said in a submission.

With AAP

Related Coverage

Driver's licences to go digital in South Australia

In October, South Australians will be able to keep a digital version of their driver's licence on their smartphones.

Tesla's South Australian battery to begin final testing

The big battery being built in South Australia by Elon Musk is about to undergo final testing.

South Australia reportedly drafting laws to force passwords out of suspects

Suspected criminals will have to reveal their computer passwords to police under proposed new child protection laws in South Australia.

South Australia goes with EscapeNet as ISP for 10Gbps Adelaide network

Local ISP to offer three plans ranging from AU$50 to AU$180 a month at single gigabit speeds.

South Australia readies for car industry closure with AU$200m future jobs fund

The state's 2017-18 Budget is peppered with IT upgrades, but its centrepiece is a AU$200 million Future Jobs Fund to help South Australia prepare for a future without its automotive manufacturing industry.

Boeing opens R&D innovation hub in South Australia

The aerospace giant's new Adelaide hub will focus on C3I, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance, as well as advanced experimentation and prototyping.