After Hurricane Maria left the island of Puerto Rico devastated, majority of the island was left without power even weeks after the hurricane had passed. After almost of a whole month since the passing, still only 26 percent of the island now has power. In a combination of debt and lack of aid, the island had to turn to new options.
In early October, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA), tweeted out offering assistance to Puerto Rico, the Governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló, quickly responded back to Musk and entered into talks for a solar grid scaled to the island.
Musk said that Tesla has installed similar solar grids for other smaller islands, referring to the project on the island of Kauai in Hawaii, and that the it will be scalable to Puerto Rico’s size.
Tesla and Rosselló entered into talks, and then soon enough, Musk began to divert his company’s attention to aid Puerto Rico, delivering its promise.
On Tuesday, Tesla tweeted a picture of Hospital del Niño, a children’s hospital in Puerto Rico. The hospital was one of the first and emerging solar storage projects going live on the island.
Musk then posted a picture of the solar grid saying that this “is the first of many solar+battery Tesla projects going live in Puerto Rico.”
The hospital is being powered by Tesla’s Powerpack energy storage batteries, according to TechCrunch. The capacity of these batteries can generate anywhere from 200 kilowatts to 500 kilowatts of power for storage. This means that the even without sunlight, the hospital will still be powered by the store energy.
The hospital says that there will soon be enough power to use solar energy from the grids during the day, and use the stored energy during the night, allowing for continuous power.
The project to the rebuild power for Puerto Rico could take up to months and cost upwards of nearly $5 billion, according to NPR.
In efforts to offer aid, Musk himself has donated $250,000 to the island, but has also postponed projects such as the electric semi reveal, which is expected to be on November 16, in efforts to help rebuild Puerto Rico.
Rosselló said the goal is to restore 95 percent of Puerto Rico’s power by Christmas.