Weather­ill de­fends big bat­tery plan

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

SOUTH Aus­tralian Pre­mier Jay Weather­ill has brushed aside fed­eral gov­ern­ment dis­in­ter­est in the state’s plan to build the world’s big­gest bat­tery to help sta­bilise its en­ergy net­work and cut power prices.

Bil­lion­aire en­tre­pre­neur Elon Musk’s com­pany Tesla will build the 100 megawatt lithium ion bat­tery within 100 days or de­liver it for free.

But act­ing Prime Min­is­ter Barn­aby Joyce dis­missed the project as a nice idea but too small to make a dif­fer­ence.

“It’s a good idea but the ca­pac­ity is not there,” Mr Joyce said yes­ter­day. “A grain of sugar is an ad­van­tage to a tea­spoon, but it doesn’t make a hell of a lot of dif­fer­ence.”

Mr Weather­ill, who went to see the site for the bat­tery, de­scribed the fed­eral re­ac­tion as neg­a­tive and op­por­tunis­tic.

“Don’t say any­thing if you can’t say some­thing pos­i­tive,” Mr Weather­ill said. “I think any­body who was ac­tu­ally look­ing at this ob­jec­tively would say it was a great idea.”

Mr Weather­ill said the bat­tery project would also cre­ate jobs in the lo­cal area in tourism and other sec­tors and would help un­lock other re­new­able en­ergy projects.

SA also ex­pects to cash in on the star power of Mr Musk with the an­nounce­ment al­ready gain­ing global at­ten­tion.

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