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TESLA BRINGS SOLAR POWER TO PUERTO RICO

Date: 2017-10-25


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After Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria, entrepreneur Elon Musk pledged to help bring power back to the Caribbean island.

As the "first of many" such projects for Mr Musk's firm, Tesla, they have set up solar panels and energy storage batteries at a children's hospital in San Juan called Hospital del Nino, the batteries will provide energy from the panels when sunlight is scarce. Earlier this month, Musk, through his Twitter account, offered to help rebuild their energy infrastructure.

In response, the US territory's governor, Ricardo Rossello, responded with: "Let's talk."

Mr Rossello has thanked Tesla for its work at the hospital via Twitter.

Meanwhile, Mr Musk has also donated $250,000 (£190,000) of his own money in support of the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico, where many people are still without electricity.

Following criticism from US lawmakers regarding the controversy over a $300m contract to repair the power grid, Mr Rossello defended the deal, which was awarded to a small, two-year-old US firm with just two employees.

He said the company, Whitefish Energy Holdings, "was the only one that met Puerto Rico's requirements at a low enough cost."

Tesla has been expanding into the renewable energy sector following the success of its electric cars, such as the Model S, by installing a 100 megawatt set of Powerpack batteries in Australia. This is the largest lithium-ion battery storage project on earth.

And, just last week, Tesla won a contract with wind turbine maker Vestas, worth $160m, to place batteries at a new wind farm in Australia. The wind farm will feature both solar panels and wind turbines, designed with the intention to provide power for more than 35,000 homes.



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