The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Elon Musk Wants to Rebuild Puerto Rico's Power Grid With Solar
"Let's talk," the governor tweeted to Musk Thursday evening. "Do you want to show the world the power and scalability of your #TeslaTechnologies? PR could be that flagship project."
Musk tweeted back that he would be "happy to talk."
Puerto Rico is still struggling without power a week after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. Only 5.4 percent of citizens on the U.S. territory have electricity, the Department of Defense said Wednesday.
Rosselló also tweeted to the Tesla boss early Friday, "Let's talk today; I will be in touch. I have no doubt #Teslasolar will work w/#PuertoRico to globally showcase the power of its technology."
Ta'u, an island in American Samoa, runs nearly 100 percent on renewable energy because of Tesla's solar and battery storage-enabled microgrid. The microgrid, which only took one year to build, features 1.4 megawatts of solar generation capacity (or 5,328 solar panels) and 6 megawatt hours of battery storage from 60 Tesla Powerpacks. An estimated 109,500 gallons of diesel will be offset per year. The company also built a 13 megawatt solar farm on the Hawaiian island of Kauai which includes nearly 300 Tesla Powerpack batteries, which provide 52 megawatt-hours of capacity and allows the farm to sell stored power during the evening.
Musk got the ball rolling Thursday morning with a tweet saying that his company could build a similar system for Puerto Rico but noted that the project would need the government's support.
Tesla has already sent "hundreds" of its battery systems to be paired with solar systems to the U.S. territory as it tries to restore its badly damaged power grid.
Musk's Twitter conversation with Rosselló is similar to his back-and-forth with Australian billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes in March, which eventually led to South Australia's massive lithium ion battery project.
Musk made an audacious bet to solve the Australian state's energy woes by building a 100-megawatt battery storage farm. If the system is not operational in 100 days, the technology will be provided for free. Construction kicked off at the end of last month.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The Centers for Disease Control has emphasized that washing hands with soap and water is one of the most effective measures we can take in preventing the spread of COVID-19. However, millions of Americans in some of the most vulnerable communities face the prospect of having their water shut off during the lockdowns, according to The Guardian.
Aerial photos of the Sierra Nevada — the long mountain range stretching down the spine of California — showed rust-colored swathes following the state's record-breaking five-year drought that ended in 2016. The 100 million dead trees were one of the most visible examples of the ecological toll the drought had wrought.
Now, a few years later, we're starting to learn about how smaller, less noticeable species were affected.
Natthawat / Moment / Getty Images
Disinfectants and cleaners claiming to sanitize against the novel coronavirus have started to flood the market, raising concerns for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which threatened legal recourse against retailers selling unregistered products, according to The New York Times.
The global coronavirus pandemic has thrown our daily routine into disarray. Billions are housebound, social contact is off-limits and an invisible virus makes up look at the outside world with suspicion. No surprise, then, that sustainability and the climate movement aren't exactly a priority for many these days.
By Molly Matthews Multedo
Livestock farming contributes to global warming, so eating less meat can be better for the climate.