As part of Tesla’s continuous effort to deploy energy storage systems in Puerto Rico following their power issues after being ravaged by hurricanes, the local government has now announced that the company will deploy 6 new battery projects on two Puerto Rican islands.
Several additional larger scale projects are also reportedly in the works.
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Tesla will combine its Powerpack systems with existing solar arrays on the islands of Vieques and Culebra in order to run microgrids until the main grid connected with underwater cables comes back online.
Tesla was apparently able to quickly deploy the batteries with full inverter and Powerpack systems on Vieques, like the one seen on a trailer above.
The battery systems are being deployed at critical locations, like a sanitary sewer treatment plant, the Arcadia water pumping station, the Ciudad Dorada elderly community, the Susan Centeno hospital, and the Boys and Girls Club of Vieques.
Puerto Rico’s governor, Rosselló Nevares, commented on the announcement (via local radio 1320):
“Due to the limited access to the Municipality Islands, and the importance of the sanitary sewer processing systems and their direct relationship with the health and the environment, we understand the need to provide energy options to improve the capacity for recovery after an interruption of the network. These projects are part of the measures we are taking to build a better Puerto Rico after the passage of Hurricane Maria and ensure a reliable service for the benefit of the citizens who reside here,”
Similar systems are also under-development in Culebra.
The governor has been spearheading an effort to not only rebuild Puerto Rico’s electric grid, but also use this tragedy as an effort to modernize it.
“In addition, when the electrical system comes back into operation in Vieques and Culebra, Tesla’s battery systems can help stabilize the network to avoid interruptions and reduce the cost of energy for businesses and residents.”
Puerto Rico Aqueducts and Sewers Authority executive Elí Díaz Atienza said that each Tesla Powerpack system has a capacity of 250kW / 500kWh and they can run “the Vieques facility 70 percent of the time at 100 percent capacity and the installation of Culebra 100 percent of the time at 100 percent capacity.”
He added that the energy storage systems will benefit 8,825 Viequenses and 1,797 residents of Culebra.
It was also reported that Puerto Rico was considering Tesla’s plan for a series of microgrids to help bring back power on a larger scale. The government has now confirmed that they “presented several projects in remote areas that would allow entire communities to be more independent” and they also “presented a proposal to the Authority for Public-Private Partnerships for the deployment of a large-scale battery system designed to help stabilize the entire Puerto Rico electricity network.”