First Cars, Then Space Travel, Now Elon Musk Is Powering An Entire Island With Solar Energy


Just when you thought Elon Musk had reached his ceiling, he decides to turn that ceiling solar.

On the heels of Tesla completing their $2.6 billion acquisition of SolarCity, they have already moved forward with a project otherwise suited for a Sci Fi movie. To show off just how powerful (pun intended) their solar technology is, the company is wiring the entire island of Ta’u in American Samoa, having installed a microgrid of solar energy panels and batteries over the past year.

These solar energy panels and batteries will supply close to 100 percent of the power needed by Ta’u’s modest population of 600 people.

This microgrid will be able to power the entire island for three days without any sunlight, and has the capacity to recharge back to 100% within seven hours. The intention behind this project, of course, falls in line with the rest of Elon Musk’s grandeur vision: to help lesson the carbon footprint of the world.

The project itself was funded by American Samoan and US authorities. Tesla has stated that the microgrid will offset the island’s previous use of 109,500 gallons of diesel per year, along with the import shipping costs to get that fuel there in the first place.

This is a prime example of what sort of potential benefits may unfold from the Solarcity acquisition, however a long road remains ahead before the company is fully profitable. SolarCity spends $6 for every $1 it makes in sales.

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