Tesla is apparently significantly ramping up its effort to help rebuild the power grid in Puerto Rico after it was destroyed by hurricanes last year.
After having completed hundreds of energy storage project on the islands in the last few months, Tesla CEO Elon Musk now says that they have ‘about 11,000’ energy storage projects underway in Puerto Rico, which means something big is in the work.
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We reported that they focused on critical services. For example, Tesla deployed a series of Powerpack systems on the Puerto Rican islands of Vieques and Culebra for a sanitary sewer treatment plant, the Arcadia water pumping station, the Ciudad Dorada elderly community, the Susan Centeno hospital, and the Boys and Girls Club of Vieques.
The automaker’s energy division also deployed a solar+battery system at a hospital in Puerto Rico.
While it’s one of the biggest examples of Tesla deploying energy storage systems in a single market, it now sounds like it’s only the beginning as Musk says that there are about 20 times more projects underway in Puerto Rico:
At the very minimum, it would be one Powerwall per project, which would add up to a deployment of at least ~150 MWh of energy capacity.
But that’s just the bare minimum since as we have recently seen, most projects include more than one Powerwalls.
For example, we recently reported on a homeowner in Puerto Rico who received a 3-Powerwall installation that helped keep the lights on during the last power outage:
It was also recently reported that the Puerto Rican government was considering Tesla’s plan for a series of microgrids throughout the market in order to help bring back power on a larger scale.
Those ~11,000 projects could also potentially be part of that larger scale project. We asked Tesla for a comment and we will report back if we get an answer.
To me, that smells like a massive virtual power plant made out of Powerwalls at homes all around Puerto Rico.
Tesla appears to have been focusing on this strategy of having decentralized energy storage systems at the end users, which secure power for them, but also using some of that energy storage capacity for grid services, which can result in a more stable grid.
Puerto Rico can use both right now.
Other recent examples of virtual power plants by Tesla include the massive 50,000-Powerwall virtual power plant project in South Australia, but also several others like a smaller in Lebanon and another one in Australia.
All those projects are starting to add up and as I have been saying for a while now, it looks like Tesla’s energy division is going to have to work on a significant production increase in order to start working through that backlog in a reasonable time.
Otherwise, it’s nice for Tesla to have 11,000 projects underway in Puerto Rico, but the big question is how soon will that mean 11,000 projects deployed in Puerto Rico?