Tesla to help SA power crisis
THE head of battery technology at Tesla has stood down, less than a month after the company of tech billionaire Elon Musk promised to build the “world’s biggest lithium ion battery” to help solve South Australia’s power crisis.
Bloomberg reports Kurt Kelty, who joined Tesla in 2006 and was one of the company’s longest serving executives has left.
“We can confirm that Kurt Kelty has left the company to explore new opportunities and we want to thank him for everything he’s done for Tesla,” a statement from Tesla said.
Kelty’s responsibilities will be “distributed among Tesla’s existing teams.”
Earlier this year Mr Kelty was awarded ‘Battery Innovator of the Year’ at the International Battery Seminar.
On July 7 Tesla CEO Mr Musk pledged that Tesla would deliver the battery to South Australia in under 100 days from the contract being signed, or it would be free.
SA Premier Jay Weatherill said that Tesla and French renewable energy developer Neoen would be tasked with providing the 100MW battery under a “historic agreement”.
Tesla will build the battery, which will store energy generated at Neoen’s 99-turbine wind farm at Hornsdale, near Jamestown in the Mid North.
Mr Musk said he’d insisted on the 100-day clause he promised in a Tweet to Atlassian founder Mike Cannon-Brookes just three months ago.
“That’s what we said publicly, that’s what we’re going to do,” he said.
Mr Weatherill said it was an “extraordinary offer” and would help South Australia become a world leader in battery storage technology.
“Battery storage is the future of our national energy market, and the eyes of the world will be following our leadership in this space,” he said.
“This historic agreement does more than bring a sustainable energy giant in Tesla to South Australia, it will also have some significant economic spin-offs.”
Kelty’s departure is the latest in a number of departures at Telsa.
Chief Financial Officer Jason Wheeler left the company earlier this year.
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