Tesla starts energy storage at hospital to help Puerto Rico

Hospital del Nino is first of many solar+storage projects going live,¿ Tesla tweeted today. ¿Grateful to support the recovery of Puerto Rico with @ricardorossello

But he said the USA territory has a historic opportunity to use federal funds to modernize an aging and weak power grid.

For the millions still stranded without power, that help can't come soon enough.

At the core of the argument is the government's belief that funding related to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, can be used to build a new system, not just fix the old one, so that it won't be susceptible to collapse when the next storm hits. On Friday, Gov. Ricardo Rossello said the death toll from the natural disaster was 49.

"So the carping by others is unfounded, and we stand by our work and our commitment to the people of Puerto Rico", he said.

Though Tesla is perhaps the most high-profile solar company to commit time and money to helping Puerto Rico (even, according to reports, delaying its electric truck announcement to focus on helping the island), it is not the sole company rushing to help. It also saddled consumers with above-average energy bills. The blackout has brought the already struggling economy to a near-standstill.

FLR's specific responsibilities in the reconstruction efforts are not yet clear, but the company has a long history of operations in Puerto Rico, including engineering and construction services for a coal-fired power plant that was providing 17% of the island's electricity.

Following the storm, Tesla began sending hundreds of its Powerwall battery systems to the island. It's "highly probable" that the government would hold a competitive bidding process.

Musk had previously donated $250,000 of his own cash in an effort to aid humanitarian efforts on the devastated island, where many residents still lack power after Hurricane Maria.

On the matter of privatization, Laboy clarified that not everything will be left up to Tesla. He said he had traveled to meet with Tesla officials as recently as June.

The hospital's new system allows it to generate all the energy it needs, according to El Nuevo Dia.



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