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Tesla in Talks with Puerto Rico to Rebuild Power Grid

Image credit: Teslarati

Nearly three weeks after Puerto Rico was pummeled by Hurricane Maria, the island is still feeling the storm’s disastrous effects. The destruction of transmission lines across the island has left much of Puerto Rico’s population in darkness and without access to information technologies. The problem is critical, but Elon Musk believes Tesla technology may hold the key to rebuilding the US territory’s antiquated grid.

Last Thursday, the Tesla CEO tweeted that the company had used its independent solar and battery systems to power up smaller islands and the same could be done in Puerto Rico, too, if key players on the island — government, public utilities, commercial stakeholders and the people of Puerto Rico — gave the go ahead.

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosello’s response was positive: 

The two discussed the idea in more detail during a phone conversation on Friday. In an interview with USA Today, Rosello revealed that Tesla and Puerto Rico’s energy sector would continue talks this week.

“I told him because of the devastation, if there is a silver lining, we can start reconceptualizing how we want to produce energy here in Puerto Rico and distribute it and do it in a more reliable fashion,” Rosello said. “It was a very positive first step.”

Using Tesla’s PowerPacks, which consist of 16 battery pods and are infinitely scalable, in lieu of resuscitating the island’s dying electrical grid would provide Puerto Rico with a more reliable, resilient and sustainable energy system that could also save customers money in the long run.

In order to focus its efforts on repowering Puerto Rico, Tesla has announced a delay for the release of its semi-truck.

Tesla is also in the midst of tackling South Australia’s energy crisis, where blackouts have become a regular occurrence for the region’s 1.7 million residents. The company is currently racing to install a 100 mega-watt battery storage system in 100 days to address the issue.

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