"Tesla Motors Inc.’s chief technology officer said South Africa could be a 'huge market' for battery storage as rolling blackouts cut power in the continent’s most-industrialized economy. The country has 'such a mismatch between demand and supply,' J.B. Straubel, Tesla CTO and co-founder, said Monday at a U.S. Energy Information Administration energy conference in Washington. 'South Africa actually has an electric grid that has huge implications for storage.' State-owned electric company Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., which provides about 95 percent of the country’s power, delayed investing in new generation capacity and is struggling to maintain its existing fleet of power stations."
"Tesla Motors has signed a 5-year exclusive partnership this week with Jeff Dahn, a leading lithium-ion battery researcher and professor at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. Dahn is currently working on a project funded by 3M and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to develop longer lasting, lower cost lithium-ion battery cells. The exclusive partnership with Tesla will begin in June 2016, once Dahn has completed the 3M research project. Dahn’s focus won’t just be cost, nor will his research apply only to the lithium-ion batteries used in Tesla’s electric cars. His research team aims to increase both the energy density — or the amount of energy that can be stored in a battery per its volume — and the lifetime of lithium-ion cells, which could, in turn, help drive down costs in automotive and grid energy storage applications."
“'The students are bouncing off the walls and really looking forward to next June when we start up with Tesla.'” The excitement surrounds a five-year research partnership between Dalhousie and Tesla Motors of California. Calling it the 'first university collaboration of this nature that Tesla has ever made on the planet,' Dahn said the work will be a continuation of the research that he has been doing for the better part of 20 years with the sponsorship of 3M Canada. Dahn wasn’t divulging how much the Tesla deal was worth, but he said it’s a “decent package” that will keep his group of graduate students, post-doctoral researchers and technical staff “who don’t make an enormous salary” at work. And the deal will support the equipment, chemicals and materials that he and his researchers need to do their work. On June 8 of next year, Dahn will begin work with Tesla, ending his affiliation with 3M."
JB Straubel's pdf presentation at the EIA Energy 2015 Conference from June 15, 2015.