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South Australia unveils world's largest lithium-ion battery to feed its grid

The world's biggest lithium ion battery, built by Tesla, has been switched on to help solve South Australia's chronic power problems.

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South Australia unveils world's largest lithium-ion battery to feed its grid

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Tesla Inc switched on the world's biggest lithium ion battery in time to feed South Australia's shaky power grid for the first day of summer.

The move fufills a promise by the firm's founder Elon Musk to build it in 100 days or give it away for free.

Tesla won a bid in July to build the 129-megawatt hour battery for the state of South Australia, which has expanded in wind power far quicker than the rest of the country and suffered a string of blackouts over the past 18 months.

Supporters of the project say it will help stabilise the grid and provide "dispatchable renewable energy" in a region that now gets more than 40 percent of its electricity from wind energy.

But critics have described it as a "Hollywood solution" in a country that still relies on fossil fuels, mainly coal, for two-thirds of its electricity.