After two devastating hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico in September, a large portion of the nation lost its electricity. Up to this day, the country is struggling with power due destroyed infrastructures that are still inoperative. Thankfully, Tesla offered a helping hand.
Just recently, we saw an open conversation between Elon Musk and Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello. Exchanges of proposals, and agreements all took place on Twitter. In just a matter of weeks, Tesla was able to get the power back at San Juan’s Hospital del Niño (Children’s Hospital).
Tesla used solar panels and batteries to provide electricity for the establishment. Founder, Elon Musk, calls the project “the first of many solar+battery Tesla projects going live in Puerto Rico.”
Actions were done in a blink. In just less than three weeks after Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello tweeted on Oct. 6, “Great initial conversation with @elonmusk tonight. Teams are now talking; exploring opportunities,” the hospital’s lights shone.
Have a look at this video for more info:
The project, where Tesla built an array of solar panels near the hospital’s parking lot, was posted on Instagram, and got more than 84,000 likes. According to El Nuevo Dia, Hospital del Niño’s new electricity system can generate enough energy to give power to the whole place. The hospital has 35 permanent residents with chronic conditions, as well as some 3,000 young patients. The hospital told the newspaper that for now they are using donations to pay for the power system. However, after the energy crisis, a deal may be made to turn the project working for a long haul.
Tesla also tweeted about the project, saying, “Grateful to support the recovery of Puerto Rico with @ricardorossello.” The governor also made a tweet about it acknowledging the help of the company, “A major contribution of @Tesla to the Hospital del Niño.”
Until this day, millions of people in Puerto Rico rely on generators for their power supply. According to the Electric Power Authority, as of October, the country’s power service was at 25 percent.
Puerto Rico’s power grid is expected to be rebuilt in months that would cost as much as $5 billion. Last month, the country’s electricity and power authority signed a $300 million contract with Whitefish to restore the power in the affected areas. NPR’s Laurel Wamsley and Nicky Ouellet of Montana Public Radio reported that the deal initiated scrutiny and skepticism among many citizens.
Tesla and other tech companies are sending out help to the people of Puerto Rico. Such as, Google’s parent company, Alphabet, created Project Loon for the country. This program deployed balloons in the affected territories to help some islands reconnect. The balloons are portable networks that can help people use phone for messaging, and using the web.