Tesla just unveiled its first battery project in Puerto Rico that will restore power to a children's hospital

Tesla powerpackTeslaTesla CEO Elon Musk discusses the specs for its Powerpack batteries, which are being used to restore power to Hospital del Niño in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  • Tesla will use its batteries and solar panels to restore power to Hospital del Niño, a children’s hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  • This is the “first of many” Tesla projects that will help return electricity to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
  • 85% of the island is still without power following the Category 4 storm.

Tesla will use its massive commercial batteries and solar panels to restore power to a children’s hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Very few hospitals in Puerto Rico have steady electricity in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, a Category 4 storm that wiped out power for 85% of the island. Ninety-eight per cent of hospitals are open, but electricity is only reliable in a few locations.

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello initiated talks in early October with Tesla CEO Elon Musk about using the company’s batteries and solar panels to build microgrids around the island. Microgrids can operate independently of the main power grid to provide power generated by renewable energy resources.

Puerto Rico has said it could take six months before its power grid is repaired and returning power to the island’s 3.5 million residents.

Tesla’s first microgrid project in the US territory will be at Hospital del Niño, the company announced on Tuesday on Twitter. Tesla showed it has already started constructing a solar field behind the hospital and its Powerpack batteries are on site.

A Tesla representative didn’t immediately return a request for comment on the project itself. It’s unclear how large the project will be and who is funding it. 

But Tesla said it’s the “first of many” projects to come, so we can expect other microgrids to crop up around the island soon. Musk said the company was ramping up battery production as part of its efforts in Puerto Rico.

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