Tesla, SolarCity Showed Off Their Work By Powering An Entire Island

Image courtesy of Solar City

You may have heard that Tesla recently completed its $2.6 billion merger with SolarCity — a company already chaired by Tesla CEO Elon Musk. But before the two companies could sign on the dotted line, they had to prove their partnership was worthwhile, and they apparently accomplished that by joining forces to power an entire island with solar energy. 

SolarCity highlighted the project on the island of Ta’u in American Samoa in a blog post on Tuesday, detailing its work with Tesla to tackle the island’s issues with power rationing and outages.

The island, which previously ran on diesel generators, underwent a year-long transition to a solar power and battery storage-enabled microgrid that can supply nearly 100% of the island’s power needs.

The transition created a renewable energy source for the 600 residents of the island. So far, SolarCity says the local hospital, schools, fire and police departments, and local businesses have been able to lessen the hazards of power intermittency and outages that had plagued the area in the past.

“It’s always sunny out here, and harvesting that energy from the sun will make me sleep a lot more comfortably at night, just knowing I’ll be able to serve my customers,” one resident told SolarCity.

Because sun is so abundant on the island, SolarCity and Tesla were able to create a battery system that stored solar energy to be used at night, providing around-the-clock power.

In all, the project — which was funded by the American Samoa Economic Development Authority, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Interior — is expected to offset the use of more than 109,000 gallons of diesel used per year on the island.

[via The Verge]

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