Perhaps as a means of celebrating the acquisition of SolarCity by Tesla, today SolarCity announced that it has completed a PV and battery-powered microgrid on the island of Ta’u, in American Samoa. The project was completed over the course of one year, and the most information that SolarCity would supply is that it went online sometime this month.
The 1.4 MW PV plant that provides power for the system is accompanied by 60 Tesla Powerpack batteries, which together provide 6 megawatt-hours (MWh) of storage capacity. SolarCity states that this system will allow the island to stay powered for three days without sun, and recharge fully in seven hours.
The project received funding from the American Samoa Economic Development Authority, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Interior. It will replace the diesel generators which were previously used to provide power, which required fuel which was shipped in from ports thousands of miles away. According to SolarCity, these generators used an estimated 109,000 gallons of diesel fuel annually.
Additionally, given issues with shipping fuel and thus power was at times limited on Ta’u, which resulted in rationing.
Due to the high and unpredictable cost of electricity generation using imported fossil fuels, islands like Ta’u are leading the transition to 100% renewable energy. SolarCity is also currently installing a 13 MW PV plant and 52 MWh battery system on the island of Kaua’i in the Hawaiian chain, which will allow the island to get 25% of its power from solar in 2018 even though peak demand on Kaua’i comes after sunset.
This content is protected by copyright and may not be reused. If you want to cooperate with us and would like to reuse some of our content, please contact: email@example.com.
By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.
Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. Any other transfer to third parties will not take place unless this is justified on the basis of applicable data protection regulations or if pv magazine is legally obliged to do so.
You may revoke this consent at any time with effect for the future, in which case your personal data will be deleted immediately. Otherwise, your data will be deleted if pv magazine has processed your request or the purpose of data storage is fulfilled.
Further information on data privacy can be found in our Data Protection Policy.