Tesla Solar Panels Power an Entire Island
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) stock rose three percent on Tuesday off of a couple of big wins, including the powering of an entire island with solar energy and the official acquisition of SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY).
After completing the $2.6-billion acquisition of SolarCity this week, CEO Elon Musk decided to go ahead and announce that Tesla solar panels would be powering an entire island in American Samoa. Specifically, the island of Ta‘ū.
Tesla has begun replacing the old-school tech on Ta‘ū, which previously ran on diesel generators, with a microgrid of batteries and solar panels. The Tesla solar panels are said to meet the power needs of the entire island, which has roughly 600 residents. (Source: “Tesla powers a whole island with solar to show off its energy chops,” The Verge, November 22, 2016.)
Here’s some more information on the project from The Verge: “The project seems intended to show off the potential benefits of the SolarCity acquisition, with Ta’u’s microgrid comprised of 5,328 solar panels from SolarCity and Tesla, along with 60 Tesla Powerpacks batteries for storage.”
The article further says: “It was funded by American Samoan and US authorities (including the Department of Interior), and Tesla says it will offset the island’s use of more than 109,500 gallons of diesel per year, as well as the expense of shipping that fuel in.” (Source: Ibid.)
With these new Tesla solar panels installed, the island can now remain fully powered for three days without sunlight, and it will be able to fully recharge within seven hours.
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This project is being heralded as a primer for what we can expect from the Tesla-SolarCity combination. With two green tech powerhouses under one roof, so to speak, it’ll be interesting to see what Tesla has for us next.
Today’s news comes after a rough week for other solar panel producers and general concern in the industry at large, due to the incoming U.S. presidential administration of Donald Trump. Musk also announced that Tesla solar panels would in fact be cheaper than normal roofing material, even before calculating the cost-reduction in energy.
Talk about a pretty good week for the tech dynamo.