Millions of people remain without power in Puerto Rico but Tesla’s Elon Musk has brought solar power to an important area. Tesla has installed solar panels and energy storage batteries at Hospital del Niño, a children’s hospital in the capital of San Juan.
Hurricane Maria left devastation across the island, which completely lost power during the storm. A high percentage of the population remains without power and the repairs could take months.
Earlier this month, Elon Musk was asked on Twitter if Tesla’s technology could rebuild the island’s electricity system. He replied by saying that it could be done. Later that day, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello responded to Musk and asked to talk.
Tesla is known for its electric vehicles such as the Model S and Model X but the company is also working on the energy sector. The batteries installed will provide energy from the solar panels when there is no sunlight.
Tesla is now helping the children’s hospital but there is still a lot to be done as most of the population remains without power. The hurricane took down power on the entire island but just a small percentage has been restored.
A contract to restore the power grid was recently awarded to a company but the move has created some controversy. The $300 million contract was awarded to a company that was founded just two years ago and has two employees. The contract was heavily criticized by US lawmakers but Rossello has said that the company was the only one that met all the island’s requirements at an affordable cost.
The project in Puerto Rico is just one of a few that Tesla is working on around the world. Mr. Musk has also donated $250,000 for humanitarian efforts in the island. Yesterday, Rossello thanked Tesla for helping the children’s hospital. The company also posted pictures of the project on Twitter.
Weeks after Hurricane Maria, many parts of the island remain without electricity. Reports say that more than 75 percent of Puerto Rico is still without power. BBC’s James Cook reported recently that the number of people with electricity has actually fallen 3.2 percent from earlier this month.
Tesla is one of the companies helping the island during difficult times. A few days ago, Google launched its Project Loon balloons to provide internet service to the island. The project is being done in partnership with AT&T.