Tesla Begins Rebuilding Puerto Rico’s Power Grid with Solar Powerpacks

October 29, 2017 at 10:33 pm




A children’s hospital in Puerto Rico’s capital city is the first to regain power as part of Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s plan to get the island back “on the grid” after having it’s energy structure obliterated by Hurricane Maria.




More than a month after the hurricane, more than 80 percent of Puerto Ricans are without power, and without Tesla’s help they could be in the dark until spring.

Earlier this month, Musk tweeted that his company Tesla could get the whole island back online with its solar panels and batteries:

Desperate for solutions, the governor of Puerto Rico took him up on the offer:

Since then Rossello and Musk have been in talks about building microgrids consisting of solar panels and Powerpacks (energy storage units) throughout the island.

A couple of weeks later Musk has delivered the first in a series of microgrid projects, getting Hospital del Niño up and running with clean, reliable power:

 



The hospital’s microgrid consists of over 800 solar panels, which have a 250 kilowatt capacity when the sun is shining, plus 800 kilowatt-hours of storage in four attached Powerpacks, for around-the-clock reliability without the need for generators.

Musk has delayed Tesla’s new electric truck unveiling to focus on bringing Puerto Rico back online and donated $250,000 for additional relief efforts toward the island.

The hospital is intended to serve as a showcase to convince others that microgrids are the best way to power Puerto Rico. Not only are they faster to set up than repairing the old central power grids, because of their localized positioning, they should prevent against such a large percentage of the population being without power after future storms.