With the Tesla acquisition of SolarCity finalized with overwhelming support from investors who seem to believe in the big picture thinking of Elon Musk, Tesla announced another major project, the establishment of a micro grid to power an island in America Samoa. The island of Ta’u has been powered by a system of diesel generators, but with this move from Tesla that can highlight the benefits of their recent merger; the 600 residents will now get their power from solar panels from SolarCity and storing power via 60 Tesla Powerpacks. The 1.4 megawatts generated from the solar panels will be able to charge and store up to 6 megawatts to the Powerpacks, which will provide cheaper and more reliable power to the island that previously had to worry about outages and rationing of power from their generators.
Projects like this will help to demonstrate the capabilities of Tesla battery and micro grid systems as well as showcase advances in solar cells from SolarCity. The switch from burning fossil fuels to run generators to clean, renewable solar, should showcase the ability to turn entire communities, even remote island islands, into models of off grid living, and just on the island of Ta’u, will save over 100,000 gallons of diesel per year.