Tesla moves into Puerto Rico and USVI

U.S. Virgin Islands Senator Janette Millin Young, in a release issued late Monday, said her office has been in communication with Tesla and its SolarCity subsidiary, to come up with temporary and perhaps long-term solutions to provide energy services to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Tesla is currently working with government officials in Puerto Rico on a plan to rebuild the island’s power system to be more resilient. Already, Tesla has begun shipping their Powerwall battery packs to the island. “My staff is working with people at Tesla’s SolarCity to create a plan for the U.S. Virgin Islands,” Ms. Millin Young said.

As reported on October 24, Tesla installed its first power project in Puerto Rico, installing solar panels and battery storage at children’s hospital, Hospital del Niño. “Hospital del Niño is first of many solar+storage projects going live,” the company wrote in a Twitter post. “Grateful to support the recovery of Puerto Rico with [Puerto Rico Governor] @ricardorossello.”

Accompanying photos show a parking lot full of Tesla’s commercial solar panels and a crane moving a Powerpack, which stores solar-generated power from the day so it can be used at night.

On October 5, Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, was asked whether it was possible for Tesla to rebuild Puerto Rico’s power grid with independent solar and battery systems. Mr. Musk responded, “The Tesla team has done this for many smaller islands around the world, but there is no scalability limit, so it can be done for Puerto Rico too. Such a decision would be in the hands of the PR govt, PUC, any commercial stakeholders and, most importantly, the people of PR.”