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Dear Malcolm Turnbull: accept Elon Musk's offer of Tesla batteries for South Australia

This petition had 789 supporters

Our political leaders are embroiled in a battle between Coalition and Labor, and between State and Federal governments, about who is to blame for the parlous state of Australia's energy infrastructure; so poorly managed it has resulted in a series of blackouts in South Australia and may soon affect Victoria and New South Wales.

Instead of arguing over whose fault it might be — and trying to prop up an increasingly uneconomic fossil fuel industry — our nation should be focusing on the simplest and quickest solution to the immediate problem of uninterrupted supply: adding battery storage to the grid.

Yesterday, Lyndon Rive, the co-founder of SolarCity, a subsidiary of Tesla, told journalists he would commit to supply and install 100MWh-300MWh of battery storage in South Australia in less than 100 days — at $250/kWh. Tesla has done this with a 20MW, 80MWh plant in Ontario, California and 52MWh in Kauai, Hawaii.

Today, when questioned on Twitter by Australian cofounder of Atlassian Mike Cannon-Brookes whether Tesla's offer was serious, Elon Musk doubled-down on the offer — either Telsa would supply, install and commission the storage in 100 days, or South Australia would get the whole installation free-of-charge.

In the long term, Australia needs a better strategy for a reliable national energy grid. If our leaders are informed by economics and physics rather than dogma and partisanship in making their decisions, battery storage will be part of the mix alongside renewable, gas and coal generation.

But in the meantime, we call upon Australia's Minister for the Environment and Energy, Josh Frydenberg and Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, to take up Elon Musk's generous offer.

South Australia could say goodbye to rolling blackouts within the next 100 days. What's not to like (except the taste of humble pie?)

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