Tesla’s $2.6 billion acquisition of SolarCity is complete, and the company traditionally associated with making state of the art electric vehicles is now officially also an energy company.
To showcase how they can use their new Solar products, Tesla converted an entire island to run on solar power. The island of Ta’u, part of American Samoa, is 4,000 miles from the United States and has a terrible energy situation. The island mostly relies on diesel fuel, something that is incredible expensive and can be hard to get.
So Tesla installed 5,328 solar panels and 60 Powerpacks for storing the energy collected. The goal is to completely remove the island’s use of over 100,000 gallons of diesel every year. The microgrid of solar panels should allow the island to stay fully powered for three days without sunlight, and the system can recharge in just seven hours.
“This project will help lessen the carbon footprint of the world,” local resident Keith Ahsoon said in a SolarCity blog post. “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.”