A big, huge “THANK YOU” is going out to Tesla who used its solar panels and batteries to restore reliable electricity to San Juan’s Hospital del Niño (Children’s Hospital). According to Elon Musk, the company’s founder, these are “the first of many solar+battery Tesla projects going live in Puerto Rico.” 1

And this success comes less than three weeks after Puerto Rico’s Gov. Ricardo Rossello tweeted on Oct. 6, “Great initial conversation with @elonmusk tonight. Teams are now talking; exploring opportunities.” 2

Since being posted to Instagram on Tuesday, Tesla’s image of the project’s solar array in a parking lot next to the hospital has been liked more than 84,000 times.

“The hospital’s new system allows it to generate all the energy it needs, according to El Nuevo Dia. The facility has 35 permanent residents with chronic conditions; it also offers services to some 3,000 young patients, the newspaper says. As for who is paying for the power system, the head of the hospital tells Nuevo Dia that for now, it’s a donation — and that after the energy crisis is over, a deal could make it permanent.” 3

Currently, millions of Puerto Ricans are relying on generators for electricity as the island’s Electric Power Authority is only operating at 25 percent; rebuilding Puerto Rico’s power grid “is expected to take months and to cost as much as $5 billion.”4

But Tesla isn’t the only tech company trying to help Puerto Rico; Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has deployed balloons from its Project Loon to the territory, to help parts of the island reconnect after most of its phone system went down (Alphabet can help phone users with messaging and some web browsing).5

Sources and References

  1. NPR, October 25, 2017.
  2. NPR, October 25, 2017.
  3. NPR, October 25, 2017.
  4. NPR, October 25, 2017.
  5. NPR, October 25, 2017.