The island of Puerto Rico has seen many hardships, but none the likes of Hurricane Maria. A storm so powerful it knocked out power to 100% of the island, and only 10% regained power two days later. That’s 90% of a very populated island, the very same island who’s electrical company declared bankruptcy several months ago befortoe the storm. After the damage was surveyed, the cost reached that of the billions, an estimated $85 billion to be exact. Out of 3.4 million residents, 80% of them are still without power while 30% are still without clean drinking water (Coto - ABCNews).
The time to restore all of the power to the island does not have an estimated time, only that it “will take a while." Not to mention the amount of money it will take to build an entirely new power grid, while Puerto Rico is still severely in debt already. At this point, it’s time to find new alternatives, and one of the hottest topics is solar power. That’s where Elon Musk and Tesla Technologies come into play.
The governor of Puerto Rico recently reached out to Elon Musk via twitter, saying “Could @ElonMusk go in and rebuild #PuertoRico’s electricity system with independent solar & battery systems?” to which Mr. Musk responded with; “The Tesla team has done this for many smaller islands around the world, but there is no scalability limit, so it can be done for Puerto Rico too. Such a decision would be in the hands of the PR govt, PUC, any commercial stakeholders and, most importantly, the people of PR” (Alexander – Telegraph UK/Twitter). A couple more tweets were sent back and forth, and Elon mentioned being happy to talk further about the project.
What this could mean for Puerto Rico is no more importing and burning oil for energy. Because of this method of power, it’s cost the island an exuberant amount of money. Along with planet and money saving, using Tesla’s solar power units, it is 100% self-powered, meaning there is no grid. If there is a power outage, this source of energy ensures no loss of power for 7+ days after an outage (and that’s just with one of the most basic and smaller options offered).
If Elon Musk decides to use Puerto Rico as the flagship project for Tesla Technologies power and innovation, it would greatly benefit the island in the long run. No longer burning up money on oil to power an entire island, but renewable sources that don’t come with high priced monthly dues. After a disaster like Hurricane Maria, it’s time to make some changes forward into how power is produced and kept on.