Tesla is not standing still.
By: Mike Brown
Tesla is bringing power to Puerto Rico. The territory has been working to rebuild its energy infrastructure after a series of hurricanes last year, with Tesla’s solar energy efforts playing a big role in this recovery effort. On Sunday, CEO Elon Musk revealed the company is currently working on a staggering 11,000 projects in the area.
Puerto Rico has been working to restore power after Hurricane Maria destroyed much of its infrastructure last September, with CNN reporting in April that 51,000 people were left without power out of the population of 1.4 million. Governor Ricardo Rossello spoke to Musk over Twitter last October about restoring energy to the island through a combination of solar panels and batteries, thereby bypassing the broken energy grid infrastructure, and making energy restoration on the island a Tesla “flagship project.” In April, Tesla shared that the company has shipped more than 1,000 batteries to the island which are currently providing power in 662 locations.
Tesla got to work soon after the governor’s offer. In December, the company started work on six more battery projects in Puerto Rico to aid key community areas like the Susan Centeno hospital, the Boys and Girls Club of Vieques, the Arcadia water pump station, a sanitary sewer treatment plant, and the Ciudad Dorada elderly community. The packs, which linked up to existing solar arrays, reportedly held 550 kilowatt-hours of power each.
The statistics behind these projects are impressive. Twitter user Israel Melendez shared images of his setup in Manatí, which uses 55 standard 220-watt panels to form a 12-kilowatt array, paired with three Powerwall 2 batteries that store around 14 kilowatt-hours each. In one day his roof generated 68 kilowatt-hours, enough to send 42 kilowatt-hours of surplus energy back to the grid.
Tesla has big plans for collaborating with governments interested in a more solar-friendly energy future. The newly-elected South Australian government has confirmed plans to use Tesla Powerwalls to build the world’s largest “virtual power plant,” providing power for 50,000 homes to the wider grid.
The installations are getting more people interested in solar. In October, price comparison site EnergySage reported a dramatic jump in consumer interest from Texas, Louisiana, and Florida after hurricanes hit the states.