Tesla and SolarCity revolutionize island with solar and battery tech

Tesla and SolarCity have revolutionized life on one small island using solar and battery technology. According to SolarCity, life on the island of Ta'u in American Samoa — located 4,000 plus miles from the US's west coast — was made difficult due to the diesel and generators residents were forced to use. Power outages and the need to ration fuel were common, but thanks to more than five thousand solar panels and dozens of Tesla Powerpacks, all of that is a thing of the past.

The island had to rely on diesel fuel shipped in on boats, as well as generators that powered the island's homes and other buildings. When diesel ran low, the residents would have to go without, only using electricity during certain times of the day. As well, the use of so many generators as a primary power supply meant tens of thousands of gallons of fuel were being consumed every year.

Solving that issue is a newly created 'microgrid' from Tesla and SolarCity — it features a total of 1.4 megawatts of solar generation, as well as 60 Tesla Powerpacks that collectively offer 6 megawatts of energy storage. This microgrid now provides 'nearly' 100% of the island's electricity, says SolarCity. The system is ultimately more affordable, as well.

The benefits to such a microgrid setup are numerous. For one thing, the cost of electricity is now stable; as well, the island no longer has to foot the bill for shipping related goods (like diesel) from other regions. Almost 600 residents are ultimately covered by this microgrid, which is itself operated by the American Samoa Power Authority. Both the EPA and the Department of Interior also contributed to this project.

SOURCE: SolarCity