WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Tesla responded to Puerto Rico’s cry for help after it was devastated by Hurricane Maria by pledging hundreds of Powerwall battery systems last month.
- Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello said that teams from both Tesla and the Puerto Rican government are in talks to make the Powerwall project happen.
- Sonnen, a German company that produces home energy storage systems for both private households and small businesses extended help to build microgrids.
Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk has promised to send hundreds of energy-storing battery systems to the storm-stricken Puerto Rico.
Governor Rossello tweeted this on Oct. 7: “Great initial conversation with @elonmusk tonight. Teams are now talking; exploring opportunities. Next steps soon to follow.”
It’s still unclear how many Powerwall battery systems Tesla will provide and when they will be delivered. Discussions are also being made regarding how much these batteries will cost the nation.
Early this month, Tesla announced that a 100MW/129MWh South Australian Powerpack battery installation was halfway complete. South Australia has suffered widespread blackouts the summer before.
The Australian project started from a Twitter bet between billionaires Mike Cannon-Brookes and Elon Musk. On March 9, Cannon-Brookes tweeted: “How serious are you about this bet? … can you guarantee the 100MW in 100 days?”
The Tesla CEO replied: “Tesla will get the system installed and working 100 days from contract signature or it is free. That serious enough for you?”
Tesla has also installed solar battery systems for Ta’u, a Samoan island, and for Kauai, an island in Hawaii.
“The Tesla team has [built solar grids] for many smaller islands around the world, but there is no scalability limit, so it can be done for Puerto Rico too,” Musk said on Twitter.
“Tesla Semi unveil now Nov 16. Diverting resources to fix Model 3 bottlenecks & increase battery production for Puerto Rico & other affected areas.” Tesla staff were also sent to train battery installers.
Meantime, German microgrid company Sonnen announced that it was sending home batteries to Puerto Rico to help set up more microgrids in damaged areas.
Sonnen, in a press statement, said batteries are already being sent to the country from its manufacturing center in Atlanta, Georgia. Sonnen is in partnership with Pura Energia, Puerto Rico’s renewable energy company , to set up the systems.
“With over 21,000 actual working installations worldwide, Sonnen’s energy storage system is uniquely equipped to help provide relief in Puerto Rico, with no delay,” the statement said. “In fact, since early 2016, Sonnen has had functional energy storage systems installed in Puerto Rico.”
“Sonnen management is also interested in partnering with a clean water filtration company” to complement the installations at emergency medical clinics and shelters, the company said.
90% of the island is still without power.