Tesla is installing solar panels and Powerpack battery units to provide 24-hour electricity to a children’s hospital that lost power during Hurricane Maria. It’s part of wider discussion of building microgrids to increase resilience in Puerto Rico. Credit: Tesla

Via Twitter, Tesla announced yesterday that the company’s first project in Puerto Rico as part of the Hurricane Maria recovery effort is a solar-plus-storage microgrid at a children’s hospital in the island’s capital. The hurricane decimated 85% of the island’s energy infrastructure, with reliable electricity still only available in a handful of locations. Puerto Rico’s Governor, Ricardo Rossello, initiated talks with Tesla about using the company’s batteries and solar panels to build microgrids around the island. Microgrids can operate independently of the main power grid to provide power generated by renewable energy resources. A host of other solar, storage, microgrid developers and non-profit entities – including Sonnen and Sunrun – have risen to the occasion of Puerto Rico’s grid restoration needs. The focus now is on resiliency, a sentiment increasingly shared by policymakers on the mainland. Maine is also considering legislation that would create municipal microgrids, helping the jurisdictions to become energy self-sufficient.

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