The island of Ta’u, located more than 400 miles off the coast of the Western U.S., is now entirely powered by solar energy, thanks to Tesla and SolarCity.
Tesla and SolarCity, the recently merged companies announced a major solar project without taking more time, where they will be powering an entire island with solar energy.
The island of Ta’u in American Samoa can now meet almost 100% of its power needs with renewable energy. The island previously ran exclusively on diesel generators, thanks to the Tesla plans to replace the same by storage-enabled Micro-grid with their Solar panels for 600 residents, for which just closed the buy of the solar installers.
The Micro-grid features 1.4 MW of solar generation capacity from 5,328 solar panels and 6 MWh of battery storage for which 60 Tesla Power packs will be installed. It replaces diesel generators, providing cost savings and energy independence for Ta’u Island.
Elon Musk said before at the agreement of Tesla and SolarCity that it’s “blindingly obvious” in his mind, because the acquisition could be incredibly dangerous for both Tesla and Musk himself. Tesla customers overlap with those of SolarCity “Master Plane” is far away from achieving early profit but the desire is to integrate clean energy in society is necessary and hopes to achieve the impossible all over the world.
The Ta’u Powering project was funded by the American Samoa Economic Development Authority, the Economic Development Authority, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Department of Interior (DoI). The American Samoan Power Authority estimates that this move will offset the island’s usage of 109,500 gallons of diesel per year. It will also reduce the cost of transporting this fuel as the island is in a remote area. In case, cloudy or rainy weather the solar panels are capable of giving energy up to three days to the island without sunlight and it is capable of recharging in seven hours.
According to a Tesla blog post this week “Factoring in the escalating cost of fuel, along with transporting such mass quantities to the small island, the financial impact is substantial”.
The frequent complaint regarding renewable solar panels is what to do, ultimately when the sun isn’t shining. Tesla solves this problem with batteries which are capable of working for three days without sunlight.
The company articulated this rationale in a November blog post several weeks before it closed its acquisition of SolarCity:
Tesla’s mission has always been to help solve this problem by accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy. To achieve this, energy needs to be sustainably generated, sustainable energy needs to be stored for later use, and sustainable energy needs to be used for transportation. And to be effective, the technology used for generation, storage and transportation all need to work together in an integrated way that makes the experience seamless.