SolarCity enables an entire island to run on solar energy

SolarCity has just completed installation of a microgrid of solar energy panels and batteries on the American Samoa island Ta’u. Ta’u is currently inhabited by 600 residents and SolarCity’s microgrid promises to supply nearly 100% of their power requirements. That’s huge! Tesla Motors just acquired SolarCity paving the way for an entirely energy efficient future coming to consumers through one company.

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The Project

This project is a massive case study of what SolarCity is capable of the benefits of the acquisition. It also gives us a glimpse into where Elon Musk sees the future of our energy requirements. This microgrid comprises of 5.328 solar panels from SolaCity and Tesla, combined with 60 Tesla Powerpacks batteries. The island currently uses more than 109,500 gallons of diesel per year. Add to that the cost of shipping that fuel in as well.

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The project was funded by American Samoan and US authorities. The microgrid allows the island to stay fully powered for 3 days without sunlight. Once depleted, it can fully recharge within 7 hours. The microgrid has a capacity of 1.4 megawatts of solar generation capacity and 6 megawatt hours of battery storage from 60 Tesla Powerpacks. All this was implemented within just a year. Local businesses along with essential services such as hospitals, police and fire stations will all be reliant on the solar energy. They won’t need to worry about outages or rationing or ever worry about the rise and fall of fuel prices.