A Tesla e a SolarCity estão a alimentar cerca de 100% da rede eléctrica da ilha Ta’u, na Samoa Americana, com energia solar.
A ilha tem 600 habitantes, fica a cerca de 6400km da costa ocidental americana e tem dependido até aqui de diesel importado, como fonte de energia. A Tesla e a SolarCity construíram uma “micro rede eléctrica” alimentada por energia solar, em apenas 1 ano. A rede consiste em 5328 painéis solares e 60 “Powerpacks” da Tesla.
O principal objectivo é acabar com a necessidade de diesel, na ilha.
Its benefits are life changing for residents of Ta’u. The local hospital, high school and elementary schools, fire and police stations and local businesses no longer need to worry about outages or rationing. But the biggest advantage is cost: Tau’s microgrid replaces diesel generators with more affordable solar energy, and is designed to optimize system performance and maximize savings.
The stability and affordability of power from the new Ta’u microgrid, operated by American Samoa Power Authority, provides energy independence for the nearly 600 residents of Ta’u. The battery system also allows the island to use stored solar energy at night, meaning renewable energy is available for use around the clock.
The project was funded by the American Samoa Economic Development Authority, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Interior, and is expected to allow the island to save significantly on energy costs. The system is expected to offset the use of more than 109,500 gallons of diesel per year. Factoring in the escalating cost of fuel, along with transporting such mass quantities to the small island, the financial impact is substantial.
“This is part of making history. This project will help lessen the carbon footprint of the world. Living on an island, you experience global warming firsthand. Beach erosions and other noticeable changes are a part of life here. It’s a serious problem, and this project will hopefully set a good example for everyone else to follow,” said Ahsoon.
Island in the Sun [Peter Rive, SolarCity Blog]