//Entire island runs on solar power system by Tesla

Entire island runs on solar power system by Tesla

tesla-solarcity-tau-microgrid-powerpack

Tesla has revealed that it’s running the island of Ta’u (in American Samoa) on a solar energy. The microgrid of 1.4 megawatts, is good for “nearly 100 percent” of the islands electrical needs. Of course there are many islands using solar panels to generate power, but the new development here is the 60 Tesla Powerpacks that offer 6 megawatt-hours of energy storage fed by 5,328 solar panels that are key. While Ta’u is normally very sunny, the packs can keep it running for up to three days without sunlight.

The solar switch, which took a year to complete, has both its long-term environmental and immediate practical benefits. Like many remote communities, Ta’u previously had to run on diesel generators. That burns 300 gallons of fuel per day, which is neither eco-friendly nor cheap. Solar eliminates the pollution, of course, but it also saves the cost of having to continuously buy and ship barrels of diesel. Locals previously had to ration power (say, if a diesel shipment wasn’t on time) or accept periodic outages.

Ta’u is clearly an ideal test case. On top of its paradise-like weather, there are less than 600 residents with relatively modest power needs. It’d require much, much more power to accommodate a full-blown city, especially in climates where cloudy days are more commonplace. However, it could still serve as a good test of the long term ambitions of Tesla and it’s mission is to convert the world from burning fossil fuels to running on renewable energy. This installation shows that it’s a realistic aim in at least some climates and latitudes.

Via The Verge