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Ta'u, an island in American Samoa, runs nearly 100 percent on renewable energy thanks to Tesla technology. Photo credit: Tesla

Elon Musk Wants to Rebuild Puerto Rico's Power Grid With Solar

Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló responded positively to Tesla CEO Elon Musk's offer to help restore the island's hurricane-wrecked power grid with the company's batteries and solar panels.

"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.

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One Million Trees Pledged to 'Trump Forest' to Offset President's Anti-Climate Agenda

Trump Forest—a global reforestation project aiming to offset President Trump's anti-climate policies—has reached 1 million trees after thousands of pledges from around the world.

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A Stargazer’s Guide to Protected Dark Skies

By Sabine Bergmann

For millennia, human beings have gazed into the firmament and been awed by the thousands of stars, galaxies, nebulae and other cosmic wonders visible to the naked eye. But in recent generations, much of humanity has become divorced from these marvels. Today, at least 80 percent of people living in the United States and Europe are so inundated with light pollution that they can't even see our own Milky Way, let alone our neighboring galaxies like Andromeda.

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Contaminated Cosmetics Pose Growing Risk to Consumers

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A rash of product recalls, government warning notices and contaminated cosmetics may finally push Congress to give our broken cosmetics law a makeover.

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Giant Sloth Fossils, Mayan Relics Discovered in World's Largest Flooded Cave

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