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Teslas Musk offers to fix South Australias power crisis in 100 days


Tesla Inc boss Elon Musk on Friday offered to save Australia's most renewable-energy dependent state from blackouts by installing $25 million worth of battery storage within 100 days, and offering it for free if he missed the target. The offer follows a string of power outages in the state of South Australia, including a blackout that left industry crippled for up to two weeks and stoked fears of more outages across the national electricity market due to tight supplies. Musk made the offer on social media, and the government said it could consider backing such a battery roll out by Tesla."The government stands ready through ARENA and the CEFC to work with companies with serious proposals to support the deployment of more storage," Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg said in an email to Reuters. ARENA is the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the CEFC is the Clean Energy Finance Corp.

Musk made the offer in response to a comment on social media by Mike Cannon-Brookes, the co-founder of Australian software maker Atlassian Corp, who said he would be willing to line up funding and political support if Tesla could supply batteries that would solve South Australia's problems.100-DAY GUARANTEE Musk responded by tweeting: "Tesla will get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free. That serious enough for you?"

He quoted a price of $250 per kilowatt hour for 100 megawatt hour systems, which would imply a price of $25 million for the battery packs."You're on mate. Give me 7 days to try and sort out politics & funding," tweeted Cannon-Brookes. He said he was inundated with calls on Friday after the exchange and was eager to get the plan off the ground.

"My phone hasn't stopped buzzing. The support is flooding in, both from individuals in terms of 'Hell yes!' and from corporates who are asking: 'Can we buy power? Can we contribute dollars?'," Cannon-Brookes told Reuters. Tesla launched its Powerwall 2 in Australia, the world's top market for rooftop solar, this week. Battery storage is just one of several options the government is looking at to help ensure reliable power supplies as the country grows more reliant on intermittent wind and solar power."We have been talking with a number of large-scale battery providers about potential storage solutions, including in South Australia. To the extent Tesla is interested, we'll also talk with them," Clean Energy Finance Corp Chief Executive Oliver Yates said in an emailed statement. After a record-breaking summer, Australia's energy market operator said this week that eastern Australia desperately needed more gas for power stations within the next two years to provide back-up electricity for wind and solar and avert blackouts.

Wall Street drifts with eyes on Fed; Intel drops


U.S. stocks ended little changed in light volume on Monday, with traders eyeing a Federal Reserve meeting expected to result in an interest rate increase later this week. The S&P 500 traded in its tightest range of the year, in and out of slight losses, while the CBOE Volatility index . VIX was on track to close at its lowest in more than a week. Shares of Mobileye (MBLY. N) jumped nearly 30 percent to a high of $61.51 after chipmaker Intel (INTC. O) agreed to buy the driverless technology maker for $15.3 billion. Mobileye closed up 28.2 percent at $60.62 and Intel fell 2.1 percent to $35.16. Investors looked ahead to the Fed's two-day meeting that starts on Tuesday. Traders saw a 94 percent chance that the U.S. central bank will lift interest rates by 25 basis points on Wednesday. "Other than the Fed on Wednesday, I don’t see anything going on to make any (investment) decisions on," said Paul Mendelsohn, chief investment strategist at Windham Financial Services in Charlotte, Vermont.

"Intel buying Mobileye is the story of the day, moving into that market sector," he said, adding that they advised some clients to "fade in" into Intel stocks. "We think this is a very good support point," said Mendelsohn. Nvidia (NVDA. O) rose 2.8 percent to $101.85 while Delphi Automotive (DLPH. N) added 4.0 percent to $80.20. Both are involved in developing technology for cars. The Dow Jones Industrial Average . DJI fell 21.5 points, or 0.1 percent, to 20,881.48, the S&P 500 . SPX gained 0.87 point, or 0.04 percent, to 2,373.47 and the Nasdaq Composite . IXIC added 14.06 points, or 0.24 percent, to 5,875.78.

After the bell, U.S.-traded shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX. N) dropped 9.3 percent to $10.98 after investor William Ackman, who had been its biggest cheerleader for two years as the share price climbed and then plummeted, on Monday said his hedge fund had sold its entire position. During regular trading hours, Citrix Systems (CTXS. O) jumped 6.8 percent to $84.93 after Bloomberg reported that the cloud-services company is working with advisers to seek potential suitors. Wynn Resorts (WYNN. O) gained 4.8 percent to $104.30 after Morgan Stanley reiterated its "buy" rating and said the company could gain a meaningful market share in Macau.

About 6.18 billion shares changed hands in U.S. exchanges, compared with the 6.93 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions. Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.54-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.68-to-1 ratio favored advancers. The S&P 500 posted 39 new 52-week highs and three new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 107 new highs and 48 new lows. The S&P 500's average true range hit 5.9, its lowest of the year. The year-to-date average of that daily measure of volatility is 14.