Tesla installed a solar field and batteries at a children’s hospital San Juan. But another outside company is being scrutinized. Video provided by Newsy Newslook
More than a month after Hurricane Maria hit, Tesla has restored power to the Children’s Hospital in Puerto Rico.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed the solar project Thursday.
The hospital “is the first of many solar+battery Tesla projects going live in Puerto Rico,” Musk wrote on Instagram, along with an image of a series of solar panels. “Glad to help support the recovery.”
Earlier this month, Musk pledged to meet with the governor of Puerto Rico to work on ways to rebuild the island’s electrical grid with renewable energy. Puerto Rico was ravaged by two powerful hurricanes in September. Rebuilding Puerto Rico’s power grid could take months and cost as much as $5 billion.
SolarCity, which is also run by Musk, is to handle installing and selling the solar panels. The process involves pairing large batteries with solar panels and solar roof tiles.
“The Tesla team has done this for many smaller islands around the world, but there is no scalability limit, so it can be done for Puerto Rico too,” Musk said earlier this month.
Roughly three-quarters of residents still find themselves without power, more than one month after Hurricane Maria slammed the island as a Category 5 storm.
Recently, Whitefish Energy Holdings was awarded a $300 million contract to help rebuild Puerto Rico’s power grid. However, Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló wants the contract audited, while members of Congress have raised eyebrows about how the deal was completed because the company is based in Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s hometown of Whitefish, Mont.
Other tech companies have stepped forward to help Puerto Rico get back on its feet. Alphabet, the parent company of Google, approved use of its balloons from Project Loon to help return Internet service to remote areas where cell phone towers were knocked down.
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.