The Governor of has given his support for Elon Musk’s plan to use solar to restore power to the hurricane stricken island of Puerto Rico.
On Friday, Governor Ricardo Rossello made plans in a conversation on Twitter with Musk, the Tesla CEO, describing the idea as potentially turning into the company’s “flagship project.”
One day earlier, Musk outlined plans to restore power to the energy stricken island, with parts of Puerto Rico expected to spend the next 4 to 6 months without energy after Hurricane Maria. Tesla has already sent Powerwall batteries to Puerto Rico to help them with the crisis, though powering the whole island is a much more ambitious project.
“The Tesla team has done this for many smaller islands around the world, but there is no scalability limit, so it can be done for Puerto Rico too,” Musk said on Twitter last Thursday. “Such a decision would be in the hands of the PR govt, PUC, any commercial stakeholders and, most importantly, the people of PR.”
The Tesla team has done this for many smaller islands around the world, but there is no scalability limit, so it can be done for Puerto Rico too. Such a decision would be in the hands of the PR govt, PUC, any commercial stakeholders and, most importantly, the people of PR.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 5, 2017
Rossello jumped into the conversation on Twitter to see whether Musk would be open to discussing further.
I would be happy to talk. Hopefully, Tesla can be helpful.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 6, 2017
The Governor agreed, stating that Puerto Rico would like to “globally showcase the power of [Tesla’s] technology.”
— Ricardo Rossello (@ricardorossello) October 6, 2017
If the plan comes together, it would be one of the most ambitious projects undertaken by Tesla. They have completed similar systems for the islands of Kauai and Oahu in the state of Hawaii, Ocracoke Island in North Carolina, Ta’u in American Samoa and Malolo Island in Fiji. Kauai is the largest of these islands, with Tesla supplying a 13-megawatt solar farm supplying one-tenth of the island’s power for 65,0900 residents. The project for Puerto Rico would be on a completely different scale, with 3.5 million residents requiring around 5,000 megawatts.
It’s certainly possible that Musk is right, and that Tesla’s power solutions won’t face scalability challenges. However, if he’s wrong, it would be an incredibly costly mistake and a distraction at a time when Puerto Ricans need concrete solutions that will help ameliorate the crisis.
What do you think of Musk’s ambitious plan of powering all of Puerto Rico? Let us know in the comments.