Being able to run your entire house off of solar power is becoming more and more common in today’s world. However, powering an entire island off of solar power is not, but that is exactly what Tesla did this week and we must say, we are pretty impressed!
The island of Ta’u in American Samoa which is located more than 4,000 miles from the West Coast of the United States, has been previously running off of diesel generators, until Tesla came in and installed a microgrid that consists of 5,328 solar panels from Solar City and Tesla plus 60 Telsa Powerpacks batteries for Storage. This major solar energy project comes as a celebration after Tesla completed its $2.6 billion acquisition of Solar City earlier this week.
This major project is a great benefit for the people of Ta’u. The island was previously using more than 109,500 gallons of diesel per year, but Tesla’s new microgrid will supply “nearly 100 percent” of power that is needed for the islands 600 residents. Along with saving them having to purchase so much diesel, it also saves them the cost of having to have it shipped to them. “Factoring in the escalating cost of fuel, along with transporting such mass quantities to the small island, the financial impact is substantial,” said Tesla in a blog post.
The people of the island seemed to be very excited about the life changing benefits this microgrid provides for them. In Tesla’s blog post local resident and grocery operator Keith Ahsoon said, “This is part of making history. This project will help lessen the carbon footprint of the world. Living on an island, you experience global warming firsthand. Beach erosions and other noticeable changes are a part of life here. It’s a serious problem, and this project will hopefully set a good example for everyone else to follow.” He also went on to say, “It’s always sunny out here and harvesting that energy from the sun will make me sleep a lot more comfortably at night, just knowing I’ll be able to serve my customers.”
The islands new microgrid will allow them to stay fully powered for three days without sunlight, and will recharge to full capacity in seven hours. The battery system will also allow the residents of the island to use stored energy at night, which means the use of renewable energy is available around the clock. All local businesses, the high school and elementary school along with the essential services such as the hospital, fire stations, and police stations will all be powered and ran by solar energy as well. They no longer need to worry about power outages.
As Tesla continues to say in their blog, “Ta’u is not a postcard from the future; it’s a snapshot of what is possible right now. Renewable power is an economical, practical solution for a growing number of locations and energy needs.”