South Australia could attract more investors like Musk: Jay Weatherill

South Australia could attract more investors like Musk: Jay Weatherill
South Australian premier Jay Weatherill says Elon Musk’s star power and the deal to build the work’s biggest battery in the north of South Australia could see other investors targeting the state.

And the deal could also provide benefits for South Australia’s struggling auto industry.

Mr Weatherill said Mr Musk’s confidence in dealing with South Australia meant the eyes of the world were now on the state.

“When billionaire investors like Elon Musk decide to invest in a place other people around the world pay attention,” Mr Weatherill told reporters on Saturday.

“They make their decisions based on what he think and what he says.

“This puts us at the centre of start-ups, at the centre of entrepreneurs wanting to do new things in new ways because we’ve sent the message to the world that we’re a jurisdiction that’s open to that sort of investment.”

Under the deal, Mr Musk’s company Tesla will build the 100MW and 129MWh battery farm, to store energy from French renewable company Neoen’s Hornsdale Wind Farm near Jamestown in the state’s mid-north, which is still under construction.

The pledge is to build it within 100 days or deliver it free.

On Friday, Mr Musk was so enthused about the project that he tweeted: “This will be the highest power battery system in the world by a factor of 3. Australia rocks!!”

Meanwhile, the Sunday Mail reported that taxpayers’ funds for the battery are conditional on it providing opportunities for additional projects for state energy and auto technology companies.

“Tesla have an automotive division and an energy division and SA companies now have an open door to collaborate especially with the energy division of the company,’’ a State Government insider told the Sunday Mail.

“It’s more than one opportunity and it is in the space of automotive technology, electric vehicles, and battery technology development.”

Acting Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said the battery system would be too small to make a difference.

“It’s a good idea but the capacity is not there,” Mr Joyce told ABC TV on Sunday.

“You know, a grain of sugar is an advantage to a teaspoon, but it doesn’t make a hell of a lot of difference.”


Business First is a peer-to-peer magazine: written by CEOs and other high level executives, with interviews with some of the country’s best leaders.

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