Tesla Runs An Entire Island Using Solar Power

The island of Ta'u in American Samoa is home to around 600 people. Located in the southern Pacific Ocean, the island relied until recently on diesel generators for energy production -- which meant that not only did the generators produce pollution as a byproduct, but the diesel itself had to be shipped in at a rate of around 300 gallons per day. SolarCity, a company just acquired by Tesla, took a year to set up the island with a bank of solar panels and Tesla Powerpack industrial-grade battery energy storage that means Ta'u now runs almost entirely off the sun.

On a post on the company blog, SolarCity explains the switchover of Ta'u's microgrid from entirely diesel to entirely solar took just a year from start to finish, and involves 1.4 megawatts of SolarCity solar panels and 6 megawatt-hours of battery energy storage from 60 Tesla Powerpack cabinets. The move saves over 100,000 gallons of diesel per year and also means that Ta'u's energy production is more reliable -- previously, when diesel shipments ran late, the island had to conserve usage and switch off power during nights. [YouTube / SolarCity]