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Tesla and SolarCity bring 24/7 renewable energy to a remote island

09 December 2016

The remote island of Ta’u plays host to a solar power and battery storage-enabled microgrid that supplies nearly 100% of its power needs from renewable energy.

The island of Ta’u (Credit: SolarCity)

The island of Ta’u in America Samoa is located more than 4,000 miles from the West Coast of the US. Due to its remoteness, it’s no stranger to power rationing and outages. 

Now it hosts a solar power and battery storage-enabled microgrid that can supply nearly 100 percent of the island’s power needs from renewable energy. This provides a cheaper alternative to diesel, removing the hazards of power intermittency and getting rid of power outages. 

The microgrid consists of 1.4MW of solar generation capacity from SolarCity and Tesla and 6mWh of battery storage from 60 Tesla Powerpacks. The whole process was implemented within one year.

Important businesses and buildings such as the school, hospital and fire station no longer have to worry about power outages. The stability and cost of the power, operated by American Samoa Power Authority, provides independence for the nearly 600 residents of the island. The battery system also allows the island to use stored solar energy at night, meaning renewable energy is available 24/7.

The project was funded by the American Samoa Economic Development Authority, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Interior, and is expected to allow the island to save significantly on energy costs. The system is expected to offset the use of more than 109,500 gallons of diesel per year.

Video courtesy of SolarCity.

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