22:39 GMT +319 July 2018
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    Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors and SpaceX

    Elon Musk May Solve Puerto Rico Electricity Problem With Solar Power

    © AP Photo / Ringo H.W. Chiu
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    Tesla billionaire CEO Elon Musk has proposed restoring electricity in Puerto Rico using his innovative solar power systems, several weeks after Hurricane Maria rampaged through the island, leaving its grid in shambles.

    Rebuilding the island's ageing and already-weakened network has proved slow: as of Friday 90 percent of Puerto Rican homes and businesses remained without power. Millions of residents are currently struggling with a lack of refrigeration or air conditioning, and local hospitals are still running on generators.

    On Thursday Musk was mentioned in a tweet suggesting that he could probably rebuild the Caribbean island's electricity grid with independent solar and battery systems. The entrepreneur promptly tweeted back saying that Tesla had already completed systemwide solar and battery projects on many smaller islands across the world, including Samoa and Hawaii in the US, and that there was "no scalability limit".

    Musk added in his Tweet that the decision would still be in the hands of the Puerto Rican authorities, and late on Thursday the Governor of Puerto Rico, Ricky Rossello, took to the social media platform to say that Tesla should use the opportunity to show the world its power and capability by making the island its flagship project.

    He said that he would like to speak to Musk about the implementation of the project, and the inventor replied that he would be happy to talk.

    Prior to this exchange of tweets, Elon Musk had already donated $250,000 of his own money to the relief effort in Puerto Rico, and Tesla had reportedly delegated its employees to install hundreds of Powerwalls on the island.

    Late on Friday night Rossello tweeted that the initial conversation with Musk went successfully.

    ​With the governor of the hurricane-ravaged land teaming up with the renewable energy guru, Puerto Rico could now be headed toward a solar-powered, more environmentally friendly future.


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    solar power, electricity, Elon Musk, United States, Puerto Rico
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