Tesla and Solar City have switched an entire island from diesel to solar power


Is this the future? If Tesla’s Elon Musk gets his way — and he’s certainly doing his best to — then yes, this is what the cities of the future will look like. Tesla, in collaboration with recently-acquired Solar City and the American Samoa Power Authority, has switched a small island in American Samoa away from diesel generators and on to a solar solution.

Tesla has switched Ta’u Island over from diesel power, which has seen the roughly 600-person patch of land going from consuming more than 400,000 litres of the oily stuff a year to using almost none of it. The three generators (only one of which was in use at a time) are now mostly languishing because Tesla’s new microgrid is going all the work. The good news is that they’re now saving on diesel, shipping the diesel and keeping the lights on. All they need is sunlight.

The system uses 5,328 solar panels (for a total of 1.4 megawatts of generation) and 60 Tesla Powerpacks to create 6Mwh (megawatt hours) of storage, a setup which can power Ta’u for three days if there’s no sunlight at all. And when daylight does peek out from behind the clouds, the whole system can top up completely in just 7 hours. Not bad going for an entire island’s power requirements.

It’s not a stretch to believe that this is a major part of Musk’s vision for the future of homes. After all, Elon Musk recently took the wraps off solar roofing tiles that could be used, in conjunction with Tesla’s power storage products, to pull homes completely off the grid for the most part. Which would keep everyone happy. Except, you know, purveyors of fossil fuels and utilies companies and those folks.

Source: via The Verge


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