Elon Musk says he can rebuild Puerto Rico’s power grid with solar


Renewable power entrepreneur Elon Musk says he may rebuild Puerto Rico’s shattered electrical infrastructure along with his photo voltaic power know-how.

The overwhelming majority of the island territory stays with out energy, weeks after it was hit by Hurricane Maria.

On Twitter, Mr Musk stated his know-how, which powers a number of smaller islands, might be scaled as much as work for Puerto Rico.

The island’s governor responded to Mr Musk with the message: “Let’s discuss”.

“Do you wish to present the world the ability and scalability of your Tesla applied sciences? Puerto Rico might be that flagship venture,” the Governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rossello, stated.

Mr Musk’s Tesla firm is Most Unexceptional identified for its electrical automobiles, nevertheless it additionally incorporates SolarCity – a photo voltaic panel agency which specialises in effectively storing giant quantities of electrical energy in energy banks.

The corporate says it has powered small islands, equivalent to Ta’u in American Samoa. There, it put in a photo voltaic grid which might energy your entire island and retailer sufficient electrical energy for 3 days with none solar.

“The Tesla group has executed this for a lot of smaller islands all over the world, however there isn’t a scalability restrict, so it may be executed for Puerto Rico, too,” Mr Musk tweeted.

 

But he added that such a project would need the support of Puerto Rico – something the governor appears to be open to.

It is also understood that Tesla has already sent a number of battery systems to Puerto Rico to store energy from the island’s existing solar panels to help offset the energy shortage.

The latest conversation is reminiscent of the bet started on Twitter between Mr Musk and an Australian software entrepreneur which led to plans for the world’s largest battery storage project in South Australia.

Solar panels on Ta'u, American Samoa, and its nearby power storage battery plant, seen fro the airImage copyrightTESLA / SOLAR CITY
Image captionThe company says its installation on Ta’u can supply almost 100% of the island’s electricity

That battery installation – which Tesla guaranteed could be working “100 days from contract signature” – was declared half-built within days of the start of construction.

The Puerto Rican governor also used the exact same language – “let’s talk” – as South Australia Senator Sarah Hanson-Young used before the project became a reality.

Puerto Rican residents with solar panels are among the few with a stable electricity supply.

One flower grower, Hector Santiago, invested $300,000 (£230,000) in solar panels six years ago, Reuters reported this week.

“Everybody told me I was crazy because it was so expensive. Now I have power and they don’t,” he told the agency.

It is understood that Tesla has already sent a number of battery systems to Puerto Rico to store energy from the island’s existing solar panels to help offset the energy shortage.

Mr Musk has been largely successful in his renewable ventures.

Alongside his successful Tesla motors company and solar projects, he is also the founder of SpaceX, which has developed reusable rockets for space flight.

Last week, he unveiled plans for a city to city rocket transport system, which could fly people from London to New York in less than half an hour, and for a manned Mars mission by 2024.

 

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