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How Tesla and Elon Musk May Begin Rebuilding Puerto Rico’s Power Grid

Tesla founder Elon Musk is in talks with the governor of Puerto Rico to help rebuild the island’s power grid using Tesla technologies. 
Puerto Rico Power Authority workers repair power lines in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, in Loiza, Puerto Rico, September 28, 2017. The US island territory, working without electricity, is struggling to dig out and clean up. (RICARDO ARDUENGO/AFP/Getty

Tesla founder Elon Musk is in talks with the governor of Puerto Rico to help rebuild the island’s power grid using Tesla technologies. 

It all started when Twitter user Scott Stapf asked if Musk could rebuild Puerto Rico’s electricity system with independent solar and battery systems.

Could @elonmusk go in and rebuild #PuertoRico’s electricity system with independent solar & battery systems?

— Scott Stapf (@stapf) October 5, 2017

On September 20th, Puerto Rico was slammed by hurricane Maria, the worst Atlantic storm on record. As the New York Times reported, the island incurred economic losses that may take 26 years to recover. The hurricane's landfall lasted a comparatively short 12 hours.

In order to restore power to the island, timely and efficient interventions are needed, especially when it comes to rebuilding Puerto Rico’s electrical grid, which is essential for the island’s recovery. This is where new technologies, like the ones developed by Elon Musk enter the scene.

Musk was quick to respond to Stapf’s tweet saying that, in deed, the Tesla team has helped many smaller islands, and there shouldn’t be а reason why they couldn’t do it for Puerto Rico, as long as there is political and public support. 

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. Such a decision would be in the hands of the PR govt, PUC, any commercial stakeholders and, most importantly, the people of PR.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 5, 2017

Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rosselló responded on Friday that he is ready to start a conversation and even turn Puerto Rico into the flagship project that will show the world what Tesla technologies are capable of doing. Within just a few hours the initial conversation had already happened. 

At a press conference after the meeting, Rosseló said that he and the executive director of the Electric Power Authority are discussing different options with Musk, like starting a smaller scale project in Vieques and Culebra, or making a type of microgrid in a certain area.

@elonMusk Let's talk. Do you want to show the world the power and scalability of your #TeslaTechnologies? PR could be that flagship project.

— Ricardo Rossello (@ricardorossello) October 6, 2017

Tesla Semi unveil now Nov 16. Diverting resources to fix Model 3 bottlenecks & increase battery production for Puerto Rico & other affected areas.

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 6, 2017

Great initial conversation with @elonmusk tonight. Teams are now talking; exploring opportunities. Next steps soon to follow.

— Ricardo Rosselló (@ricardorossello) October 7, 2017

Currently, Musk is in the middle of completing another project that started as a bet on Twitter: building the world's largest battery storage facility in South Australia in 100 days. He has promised that if the project is not completed on time, it will be delivered for free.

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