Late September, Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm that knocked out 85 percent of the island’s power. Because officials said it would take at least six months to fully restore electricity, Elon Musk — the co-founder of Tesla and founder of SpaceX and PayPal — offered to help.
Earlier this month on Twitter, Musk made a public offer to help rebuild Puerto Rico’s energy infrastructure. Puerto Rico’s governor Ricardo Rossello quickly responded, “Let’s talk.” Finally, the Powerwall battery systems and solar panels Tesla sent have arrived — and the first has been installed at a children’s hospital in San Juana, Puerto Rico.
Though ninety-eight percent of hospitals are open in Puerto Rico, electricity is only reliable in a few locations. For this reason, Governor Rossello and Musk decided to swiftly install the first microgrid project in the US territory at Hospital del Niño. Images posted to Twitter show that construction on a solar field behind the hospital has already begun. The microgrid system combines power generation — often through solar panels — and energy storage technology to allow an individual building or group of buildings to remain with power, even if the larger grid fails.
— Tesla (@Tesla) October 24, 2017
When Business Insider questioned a Tesla representative, they did not comment on how big the project is or when it will be completed. However, Tesla did say that it is the “first of many” projects to come. In a previous statement, Musk mentioned that Tesla is increasing battery production as part of its efforts in Puerto Rico. As a result, we can likely expect many more microgrid projects to crop up around the US territory.
Hopefully soon, power will be restored to all of Puerto Rico’s 3.5 million residents, and the island will be much richer economically speaking as a result of the assistance received from Tesla and other companies.
Via Business Insider
Images via Tesla