Musk: Tesla can rebuild Puerto Rico power grid

Billionaire Tesla founder Elon Musk says that he believes he can rebuild Puerto Rico’s power grid with batteries and solar power.

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“The Tesla team has [built solar grids] for many smaller islands around the world, but there is no scalability limit, so it can be done for Puerto Rico too,” Musk tweeted on Thursday. “Such a decision would be in the hands of the PR govt, PUC, any commercial stakeholders and, most importantly, the people of PR.”

Tesla has already done similar battery and solar power projects with the Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative in Hawaii and in American Samoa.

Both projects were designed to supply power for much smaller populations than Puerto Rico, however. Still, the Tesla CEO is confident that his company’s existing operations can be scaled up to meet larger demand.

Currently, under 10 percent of the island has power. Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said on Monday that it could take one month to restore power to only a quarter of households in the territory.

The Puerto Rico state owned electric company says that some households be without power for four to six months. Any Tesla solution would likely be aimed more toward the long-term, rather than the immediate restoration of power that's required.

Tesla, however, has sent hundreds of its Powerwall batteries, which collect and store solar energy, to help provide power more immediately to Puerto Ricans.