Tesla Sends Powerwalls To Puerto Rico To Aid In Relief Effort

2 months ago by Steven Loveday 32

Tesla Powerwall 2

Tesla Powerwall 2

Tesla is at it again, providing aid after another natural disaster, and Elon Musk is assisting out of his own pocket.

We recently published a few stories about Tesla pushing through a free over-the-air update to some vehicle owners to upgrade range, which would allow them to more easily flee from Hurricane Irma. Well, it’s the season for these storms and another just pummeled Puerto Rico. It’s named Hurricane Maria and it hit the U.S. island territory as a Category 4 storm. Unfortunately, there has yet to be much government assistance in the situation, however, Tesla is already providing free support.

Tesla Powerpacks

Tesla Powerpacks and microgrid on T’au Island

The Silicon Valley automaker reportedly shipped hundreds of Powerwall 2 storage batteries to Puerta Rico to a provide power to the island. Apparently, the area is experiencing an island-wide blackout, which has left over three million people without power.

A company representative told Teslarati that Tesla is continuing to send additional units, as well as joining with the local government and utilities in an attempt to get power restored. In the meantime, the Powerwall home batteries can fill the gap. Workers from the automaker are on site setting up the units and connecting them to solar panels so that progress can be made.

According to Fortune (via Teslarati), To further assist with the cause, Tesla and SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, has donated $250,000 of his personal money to support Puerto Rico.

Though it wasn’t due to a disaster, this is not the first time the electric carmaker has used its Powerpacks to provide power for an island destination. The systems are currently installed on T’au island in American Samoa, a Fiji island resort, and Ocracoke Island in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. So, obviously, Elon Musk and company have the necessary experience to aid in the efforts in Puerto Rico.

Source: Teslarati

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32 responses to "Tesla Sends Powerwalls To Puerto Rico To Aid In Relief Effort"

  1. Chester Koenig says:

    Good on em. Works out it so many ways.

  2. MM says:

    It seems like people in storm zones could use a lot of Tesla products. (Plug the Leaf into the refrigerator and drive the “S” like heck out of there). I hope “Hurricane hardened” could be attainable for a solar roof.

  3. Bill Howland says:

    On the one hand, PR needs anything it can get.

    On the other, this will be of limited usefulness (of course, all small donations are by their nature limited) since PR needs restored distribution, not storage.

    1. menorman says:

      It sounds like they need both. There are some home solar installations on the island, but many are grid-connected.

  4. Dan says:

    PR stunt, but if houses are built like cardboards, power wall is useless when the house is just blown away.

    1. Chad says:

      One of the big concerns is hospitals running out of diesel fuel to power their generators. I doubt these units are going to individual homeowners. Likely these are going to public resources such a schools, hospitals, fire departments, etc.

    2. floydboy says:

      Or maybe an actual attempt at helping.

      1. David Beall says:

        Ah but it so much more fun to bitch and moan, make ignorant negative speculations and just generally root for the status quo that would doom mankind from a bunch of armchair trolls. Yeh his power packs any solar panels are just like corrogated roofs –

    3. zll says:

      Not to mention the fact that the grid in PR is down…as in kaput. With nothing to charge the Powerwall with (unless Elon donates solar panels), it is practically a waste of everyone’s time.

  5. gorr says:

    If i understand, actually only gas cars works and mobile diesel generators.

    1. Get Real says:

      As a serial anti-EV troll your love of fossil fuels runs deep gorr.

      Unlike gas and diesel vehicles, EVs are the only vehicle where it is possible to male your own fuel via solar and PR has great solar potential and when coupled with storage in hardened micro-grids could really mitigate future disasters.

      1. taser54 says:

        The solar panels and the houses blew away in the hurricane. As did the power grid.

        In this instance, the ideal situation does not apply.

        1. Get Real says:

          I guess you missed when I said “hardened” and I’m talking about rebuilding BTW because why keep throwing good money after bad?

          Afterall, you could rebuild the PR grid exactly like it was and it could all get blown away again.

          Properly build microgrids that are hardened against storms/flooding could, mitigate much potential future damage and save lives/costs.

          Wouldn’t that be nice.

          1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

            “why keep throwing good money after bad?”

            Couldn’t they have done that after the 13th hurricane???

            1. Will says:

              Puerto Rico is in financial bankrupt and the people are poor. The houses built out of the capital are built like a deck of cards and poor material and no building codes in most cities. I know this because I lived on the island in the 90s. Tesla is doing great in this but I hope it will help alot

              1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

                Point well taken.

                But there’s gotta be a way to build stronger/better for these folks.

                1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                  In a perfect world, there would be high standards for building codes everywhere, and those codes would be strictly enforced.

                  Unfortunately, in the real world, such codes make housing significantly more expensive, and that results in many among the poor not being able to afford housing in areas where there are high building codes strictly enforced. Thus the increase in homeless people in some areas.

                  If such codes were enforced on Puerto Rico, where most of the people live below the poverty line, it would force many people to either become homeless or avoid the building codes by residing in encampments, which would quickly become shanty towns… with even worse conditions for construction, sanitation, and crime.

            2. super390 says:

              That sounds dangerously like an argument for mass immigration out of the 3rd World.

              These days people would rather vote for Nazis than that.

              Nope, you’re not going to be allowed to leave, and we aren’t going to give you money to make it humane to stay. Suffer in place, everyone.

    2. Roy LeMeur says:

      >If i understand, actually only gas cars works and mobile diesel generators.

      Obviously you do not understand, and can’t even construct a sentence in any useful manner.

      This makes your attempt at trolling useless and a total waste of time. How does that make you feel?

    3. windbourne says:

      huh.
      So, where are they getting the gas and diesel?
      They have electric pumps that pull it out of the ground.
      As such, they need electricity from somewhere.
      They certainly can get it from gas/diesel for a SHORT TIME, but, solar/battery will continue to work long after gas/diesel are gone.

      1. ffbj says:

        I saw one yard where all the refrigerated trailers are sucking juice from diesel generators to keep the stuff cold.
        42k gallons a day.

    4. Brave Lil' Toaster says:

      Sure, but the last time I checked, all the gas and diesel supplies run out well before the storm hits.

      After the storm however, there appears to be an abundance of sunlight, which is not something you need to import.

      I’m actually personally looking into getting solar backup power for my house, for this very reason.

  6. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

    If I lived there, my next house would be built with concrete and rebar, put the powerwall in a bunker and keep spare solar panels.

    Being in a year after year hurricane path why aren’t homes built like that already?

    1. ffbj says:

      Trollnonymous waiting in his rec room for the all clear…
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcsLaSBWG9k

      1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

        Blahahahahaha…………u funny guy.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “Being in a year after year hurricane path why aren’t homes built like that already?”

      Because people who can afford all that generally don’t live in economically depressed regions like Puerto Rico. Or to put it another way, the overwhelming majority of people who live there are much too poor to be able to afford to build and install all that.

      P.S. — Putting your PowerWalls “in a bunker” may be problematic in areas prone to storm surge flooding from a hurricane.

      1. W Newzome says:

        Actually, as someone who has visited and who has family over there I can attest that many houses and apartments are built to withstand hurricanes. Many houses are built with concrete outer and inner walls making it hard to put up pictures. Not only the walls but also the roofs. I know of many houses of average income people who own or rent these.

        As to Puerto Rico’s economy, it did well for a number of years until the US Federal Government changed tbe islands tax laws, which they can do as they are not a state but a territory. This tax change destroyed their economy pushing unemployment up from single to double digits and driving away many high paying jobs. Colonial exploitation is alive and well.

        As to the power banks, it stated he was also sending solar cells if people chose to include or read tbe rest of the article.

        And as to it being only a bandaid, many people are happy that at least sometbing is being done to help them no matter how small. Not to mention having lived tbrough several hurricanes here in the states, uf you look at every company that donated to help in each disaster they were ea h on their own only a small bandaid. It waz all of those bandaids together that worked. Or are you going to tell all those volu teers who went to Houston, sorry go home you are only going to be able to help 2 or 3 families on your own. Luckily no one told them or the other tbousands of volunteers that.

  7. Mister G says:

    GO TESLA GO DESTROY DIRTY FOSSIL FUELS one island at a time.

  8. David Beall says:

    Ah but it so much more fun to bitch and moan, make ignorant negative speculations and just generally root for the status quo that would doom mankind from a bunch of armchair trolls. Yeh his power packs any solar panels are just like corrogated roofs – Just a publicity stunt from a company that does zero advertising. The stunt is simply being a decent human being. Just try that out!

    1. super390 says:

      Actually, the batteries are a good way to hint that Puerto Rico’s replacement power grid should be solar-based and decentralized. Fossil fuels have to be imported and add to its trade deficit with everyone else. Antigua’s solar installations withstood this hurricane.

      Now, how much would it actually cost to do this? CNN’s financial news is talking $95,000,000,000 in total costs in Puerto Rico, so it’s not like several gigawatts of solar output is an unreasonable investment. As it is now, no capitalists will invest in the place to give it an advanced enough economy to ever recoup those losses.

  9. islandboy says:

    This years storms have been a teachable moment in terms of proper installation of PV arrays and hardening building construction in the face of hurricanes. Hurricane Andrew was a big learning experience for South Florida in that, as I understand it, most new construction since Andrew has been cement blocks reinforced with rebar for at least the exterior shell of the house. Nobody that witnessed the destruction wants to buy a wooden framed house, worse a flimsy one. The same applies on the island where I live.

    Time magazine has an on line article showing some before and after pictures of Richard Branson’s (Virgin Airlines) 700 kWp array on his private island in the British Virgin Islands. It appears to be largely intact while a solar farm near the Airport in Anguilla is FUBAR. Both installation experienced similar category 5 hurricane conditions. Why did one suffer so badly while the other did not?

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