Tesla's acquisition of SolarCity is already proving fruitful, as the two companies just announced a massive solar energy project that powers an entire island in the sun.
The Ta'u island in American Samoa used to run on diesel generators, but Tesla has been busy installing a microgrid of solar power panels and batteries over the past year. The microgrid can cover "nearly 100 percent" of power needs for the 600 residents of Ta'u.
Tesla and SolarCity will cover those electrical needs using renewable energy, offering a cost-saving alternative to using diesel power. At the same time, the solution also reduces the hazards related to intermittent power and eliminates power outages, as the renewable energy packs can keep the microgrid running for three days even without sunlight, providing power around the clock. This means that a cloudy day or two should have no negative impact on power supply and no blackouts should ensue.
The microgrid consists of 5,328 solar panels from Tesla and SolarCity and 60 Tesla Powerpacks ensuring energy storage of 6 megawatt-hours. The entire microgrid has a 1.4-megawatt solar generation capacity and was set up in just one year.
Cleaner, Safer And Cheaper Alternative To Diesel Power
Microgrid solutions such as the one Tesla and SolarCity implemented in Ta'u, featuring solar power and energy storage, are more affordable than diesel and offer a safer, cleaner alternative. Microgrids can also ensure stable energy costs for decades, as opposed to fuel prices that always fluctuate.
Tesla and SolarCity's new microgrid in Ta'u is operated by the American Samoa Power Authority and aims to offer energy independence for all of the island's residents.
Reducing The World's Carbon Footprint
"This is part of making history," says Keith Ahsoon, a Ta'u resident. "This project will help lessen the carbon footprint of the world."
Ahsoon points out that global warming has a major impact on islanders, who witness beach erosions and other such changes. Renewable energy solutions can play a major role in reducing the carbon footprint and contributing to a cleaner world.
Renewable Energy Solutions
"Ta'u is not a postcard from the future, it's a snapshot of what is possible right now," adds SolarCity. "Renewable power is an economical, practical solution for a growing number of locations and energy needs, and islands that have traditionally relied on fossil fuels can easily transition to microgrids powered by solar and storage today."
This is just the beginning of the journey for Tesla and SolarCity, as the two companies have ambitious goals to offer affordable renewable energy. Tesla's Elon Musk believes that solar roofs will eventually cost less than regular ones and last twice as long, in addition to providing solar power.
If Tesla and SolarCity have their way, soon enough people might have no reason to stick to conventional power sources instead of opting for renewable solar energy.