Will The Sun Shine On Elon?
Will the sun shine on Elon’s solar panels in Puerto Rico?
Just more than a month ago, Puerto Rico was hit by the devastating hurricane Maria, which left the island with an inability to access many of their fundamental needs. Reports show that approximately 80% of the inhabitants were without electricity. The magnitude of this can truly be detrimental, without electricity, fundamental services cannot function properly, for example hospitals cannot treat their patients properly, communications for aid is broken, and people are left with no contact to help services.
The governor of the island, only a few weeks ago contacted Elon Musk, owner of Tesla and asked for his help. Elon Musk agreed to help and just this week completed his company’s first project at Hospital del Nino, a children's hospital in San Juan. Since then, numerous other companies have offered to help find power solutions for the territory that sustained upwards of $90 billion in damage in late September from Hurricane Maria. The company Tesla Motors built a solar farm with battery storage in the car parking space of the children’s hospital. The installation is capable of generating up to 500 kilowatts of power. This is enough to run almost all of the hospital’s required equipment, in order to continue treating the patients. The solar farm is also linked to batteries which are constantly storing energy, which can be used when sunlight is scarce. Tesla motors have also installed a back up energy source in the form of diesel generators but this is being used exclusively.
Furthermore, Mr Musk has also donated £190,000 of his own money to support humanitarian efforts in Puerto Rico, where many people are still suffering from a lack of electricity. The company has also claimed this project to be the ‘first of many’, hence pointing at a brighter future for Puerto Rico.