The end of September saw tech billionaire Elon Musk continue to promote the combination of solar power with Tesla batteries in the wake of hurricane Maria. Musk tweeted a proposal to use his company’s batteries in the restoration of Puerto Rico’s electricity supply after the island’s grid was severely damaged in September’s hurricanes.
With some households expected to remain without electricity for 4 to 6 months after the hurricane, the rapid implementation time being offered by Musk on projects may start to become part of the profile of renewables in a world increasingly interested in resilience.
Though the Puerto Rico offer is still little more than a proposal in twitter, Musk’s Tesla did show an interest in competing on speed in another region of the world, as it signed a money-back agreement with the government of the state of South Australia to construct the company’s largest battery array in a span of 100 days, which started last September 29.
Failure to finish the project, which could potentially provide electricity to 30,000 homes, within the time limit would mean that the system would be free for the state government. The South Australia energy project was detonated by a blackout caused by a September 2016 storm.
Tesla has also been active on the islands of Kauai in Hawaii and Ta’u in American Samoa. Islands are particularly suited to renewables using batteries due to their isolated nature, requiring fuel for generators to be shipped in. Solar power combined with batteries allow them certain self-sufficiency and back-up supplies in energy in case of climactic or other disruptions.