Elon Musk has always had a knack for things more ambitious than most people dream of. Battery powered cars? Child’s play. Mars colonization? Let’s do it. Solar cells on an island for free? Why not?
That’s why it wasn’t surprising when it was recently announced that Tesla is powering the entire island of Ta’u in the American Samoa now that it has acquired SolarCity for $2.6 billion. The island’s diesel generators struggled to provide adequate power in the past. Now, solar cells and battery storage units provide power to most of the island.
All this is done through solar panels and battery storage cells linked together to form a microgrid across the island. Battery cells store excess power from the solar panels, allowing for electricity at night. The switch to solar also ensures that emergency responders, hospitals, and schools have a constant supply of power, improving the lives of everyone on the island either directly or indirectly.
Musk has long been involved with SolarCity, so a joint venture with Tesla was expected. Both companies stand to benefit greatly from this solar venture. It serves as a huge example towards proving the viability and usefulness of solar power, especially considering how much the industry has advanced over the years. At this point, continue to expect more great things. It’ll be worth keeping an eye on how this develops.