The first of Elon Musk’s solar energy-Powerwall projects has successfully restored power to a local hospital in Puerto Rico, according to a tweet from Tesla earlier today. Hospital del Niño, a children’s hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is among those working with Musk. The Tesla CEO and founder offered to provide a few hundred energy storage batteries to facilitate the Carribean island’s efforts to restore energy after its grid was devastated by Hurricane Maria.
— Tesla (@Tesla) October 24, 2017
Tesla isn’t the only one working to return electricity to Puerto Rico. A similar effort is also being made by a two-year-old company from Montana called Whitefish Energy. The company signed a $300-million contract with Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority to complete infrastructure work that will provide energy to key industrial facilities needed to kick-start the island’s disrupted economy.
Puerto Rico has taken a rather unique approach to restoring power after Hurricane Maria. Instead of rebuilding the existing energy grid, government officials seek to redo it altogether. The move has drawn flak from both experts and members of the U.S. Congress, particularly with regard to the use of relief funds. Tesla’s success with the Hospital del Niño, however, proves that a combination of renewable energy and storage batteries is an effective and efficient way of providing much needed power to disaster-struck areas.