Tesla just completed its acquisition of Solar City last week, and it is still trying to prove to the world that the purchase was worth it. Many see the buyout as a risky move, considering solar city allegedly spends $6 for every $1 it makes in sales. Regardless, Elon Musk’s master plan for a fully electric world requires quite a few assets which Tesla could use from Solar City, and so he refers to the purchase as the “blindingly obvious” next step.
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Tesla is powering the Ta’u islands in American Samoa, and is using 5,328 solar panels to create almost 100% of the energy the island’s 600 residents need to survive. 60 Tesla power packs store all this energy, and hold enough power to run the island for a full 3 days with no sun. This energy source is able to replace the 109,500 gallons of diesel the island previously used every year, and the lack of need for a cargo ship to transport all that oil equates to even more savings.
While the panels and power packs were obviously pretty expensive to install, it was funded by American Samoan and US authorities who believe that the essentially infinite power source was worth the installation costs. Residents are also quite thankful, as they have had to experience erosion and other side-effects of global warming first hand.
“It’s a serious problem,” says one of the island’s residents in a Tesla blog post. “This project will hopefully set a good example for everyone else to follow.”
Doing something of this scale is an incredible feat for Tesla, and it is a great representation of a potentially completely oil-less future. Tesla is still working on it’s gigantic solar powered factory in Nevada, and creating those throughout the world could help to eliminate our reliance on “dirty” energy altogether.
Where would you like to see Tesla power next?