February 20, 2018

Elon Musk could help rebuild Puerto Rico with solar-powered electricity grid

07 October 2017, 12:20 | Kenneth Drake

Musk: Tesla can rebuild Puerto Rico power grid

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Scott Stapf tweeted a link to the Earther article, theorizing that perhaps Elon Musk and Tesla could be an important part of Puerto Rico's new energy infrastructure. SolarCity has already achieved it a few small islands, including the American Samoa island of Ta'u.

Rebuilding Puerto Rico's electrical grid in the same way would, however, be a project on an entirely different level, no matter what Musk says about Tesla's scalability limit.

The idea could come to fruition.

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello responded to Musk's tweet with an invitation. The Category 4 storm knocked out power for the entire island's 3.5 million residents, and they may not get power again for another six months.

In late September, Tesla said it was sending hundreds of batteries that can store power generated by solar panels to Puerto Rico to provide emergency help in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Electric auto maker Tesla previous year merged with another Musk startup, SolarCity. Saddled with debt and without the resources to tend to it, Puerto Rico's is even more burdened. However, that island's population is about 70,000 people. The situation came about through the mismanagement of a whole realm of responsibilities, including planning, spending, debt management, budgeting, governance and contracting, according to the Puerto Rico Energy Commission (PREC).

"Do you want to show the world the power and scalability of your #TeslaTechnologies?".

For now, only about 11 percent of Puerto Rico has electricity.

The advantages of Tesla's Powerwall solution are that it can use stored solar energy during a power outage and could potentially reduce time-of-use rates by storing energy at night when rates are low.

The governor said in a tweet to Musk "Let's talk".

The conversation between Rossello and Musk is similar to one that took place several months ago, between Musk and billionaire entrepreneur Mike Cannon-Brookes, who asked if Musk was serious about ending South Australia's rolling blackouts.

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