A sign saying “Send Tesla” is spelled out with remnants of a nearby house destroyed by Hurricane Irma as the occupant camps on the site twelve days after the devastating storm raked the island, on the northern shore of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands September 16, 2017.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company’s batteries and solar panels could help restore electricity to Puerto Rico if residents and the government decide they want to pursue that option.
Musk said on Twitter Thursday that Tesla has already used a combination of its solar panels and Powerpack batteries to power a couple of small islands. He said that there is “no scalability limit” and that Tesla could build a similar system in Puerto Rico.
— Scott Stapf (@stapf) October 5, 2017
The island of Ta’u in American Samoa can run entirely on solar energy thanks to a Tesla microgrid that consists of 5,328 solar panels and 60 Powerpack batteries. Tesla also built a massive solar farm on the Hawaiian island of Kauai that can account for 20% of the island’s peak electricity load.
Tesla has already sent hundreds of Powerwalls to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. The category 4 storm knocked out power for the entire island’s 3.5 million residents, and the island may not get power again for another six months.