Island in the sun: SolarCity is using the power of the sun to provide energy for island of Ta'u in American Samoa.
According to SolarCity blog, Ta'u now hosts a solar power and battery storage-enabled microgrid that can supply nearly 100 percent of the island's power needs from renewable energy alone. People are slowly forgetting what it was like, when power intermittency and outages were a regular occurance on an island that lies 4,000 miles from the West Coast of the United States. They also benefit from now having a cheaper and safer, cleaner, eco-friendly alternative to diesel.
SolarCity and Tesla implemented a microgrid with 1.4 megawatts of solar generation capacity and 6 megawatt hours of battery storage from 60 Tesla Powerpacks. Providing energy independence for the nearly 600 residents of Ta'u, SolarCity's solar system replaced diesel generators with more affordable solar energy, optimizing system performance and maximizing savings. The battery system also stores solar energy, which can be used at night - truly, renewable energy is available for use literally any time people need it, day or night.
Keith Ahsoon, a local resident with a family-run food store, stated for SolarCity blog: "I recall a time they weren't able to get the boat out here for two months. We rely on that boat for everything, including importing diesel for the generators for all of our electricity. Once diesel gets low, we try to save it by using it only for mornings and afternoons. Water systems here also use pumps, everyone in the village uses and depends on that. It's hard to live not knowing what's going to happen. I remember growing up using candlelight. And now, in 2016, we were still experiencing the same problems."
Tesla completed its $2.6 billion acquisition of SolarCity on Monday and is set to cease the "opportunity to generate, store and consume energy entirely sustainably, through a suite of integrated products that add aesthetics and function while reducing cost," including selling solar roof shingles and Powerwall 2.0, as well as offering customers "a roof with invisible power" via solar panel installation.