This is a fascinating video for what it shows of the effects of a hurricane on Wind Turbines & Solar Panels.
The guy who made it is Gung Ho for alternative energy but clearly is unclear on the concept of concrete bunkers with a nuke in them being more survivable than bird choppers and plastic plates.
I was also surprised at the amount of “product” Tesla is busy installing. The video is mum on who is paying. I doubt Tesla is doing it for free, but who knows. I’d be interested in knowing how much Emergency Relief Money he might be sucking up…
The first 5 to 6 minutes does a good job of showing the downside. Then from 6 to 10 shows more of what is being built new. Toward the end he gets a bit preachy about the joys of alternative energy. One thing made me smirk; when he said this push to solar and wind replacement power could be a model of putting the whole island “off the grid” – apparently unclear on the concept of The Grid and that a small island is already by definition “off the grid”. I suspect he really meant that individual facilities could be disconnected from the local power company; but that just means he is unclear that these installations are designed to cooperate with the electric company (small ones on homes often can not even be run stand-alone).
So it’s nice that Tesla is installing some solar power and backup batteries at hospitals and schools; but until the funding is explained and who’s “Other People’s Money” is paying how much for what is detailed: It looks a lot like opportunism on the part of Tesla and wasting money on expensive fragile PC Projects that would have been much better spent on some Shipping Container Diesels and rapid connection.
With no further complaints from me, the video:
Tesla just unveiled its first battery project in Puerto Rico that will restore power to a children’s hospital
Oct. 24, 2017, 11:49 AM
Tesla will use its batteries and solar panels to restore power to Hospital del Niño, a children’s hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
This is the “first of many” Tesla projects that will help return electricity to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello initiated talks in early October with Tesla CEO Elon Musk 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.
Puerto Rico has said it could take six months before its power grid is repaired and returning power to the island’s 3.5 million residents.
A Tesla representative didn’t immediately return a request for comment on the project itself. It’s unclear how large the project will be and who is funding it.
But Tesla said it’s the “first of many” projects to come, so we can expect other microgrids to crop up around the island soon. Musk said the company was ramping up battery production as part of its efforts in Puerto Rico.
A Look At The Scale Of Tesla’s Puerto Rico Electricity Solution
OCT 12 2017 BY
Can Tesla pull off a viable battery solution for Puerto Rico, and can the U.S. territory afford it?
There’s not a yes or no answer to the above question, and as we’re sure you can imagine, it’s not going to come cheap. Yes, it’s possible. No, powering the entire island in any reasonable amount of time is probably not a reality at this point. Yes, it will be a monstrous undertaking even if it’s only a partial solution. Yes, it’s probably the right thing to do. No, Puerto Rico can’t afford it, but perhaps they’ll get more assistance.
The U.S. territory is suffering from huge debt and rebuilding may cost some $5 billion. So, the truth is, it may never fully recover, and even if it does, as soon as another storm rolls through Puerto Rico may be right back where it started.
Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, was asked via social media if his company may be able to get Puerto Rico back online with solar power and battery storage solutions. He replied:
“The Tesla team has done this for many smaller islands around the world, but there is no scalability limit, so it can be done for Puerto Rico too. Such a decision would be in the hands of the PR govt, PUC, any commercial stakeholders and, most importantly, the people of PR.”
So a $5 Billion meal ticket, likely being punched by “Disaster Relief” where nobody is watching the checkbook closely, subject to repeated “do overs” every time a major storm comes through, and Elon has worked out he can do this repeatedly on many islands… OK… what’s wrong / missing in this picture? Oh, yeah, cost / benefit analysis and prudence.
Teslarati put together a detailed, real-world estimate. Let’s take a quick look at how it all breaks down.
Puerto Rico population: 3.4 million
Annual energy consumption: 19 billion kWh (19 million MWh) or 5,310 kWh (5.2 MWh) per capita
To cover only 40 percent of PR’s needs, Tesla will need to install a 4,164 MW solar plant, which is 320 times as large as the one Tesla constructed in Kauai (13 MW solar farm). The grid in Ta’u is 1.4 MW. Based on SolarCity Q3 2016 installation costs, the PR grid would add up to about $8.32 billion.
So 40% coverage…. $8 Billion tab… Hmmmm…. AND it can be sold as a “Jobs Program”… Just that small matter of who is paying for it to be worked out. At $8 Billion, not Elon. As Tesla is making losses and has to borrow cash, not Tesla. As bankers already worried about the debt-no-profit at Tesla won’t loan more money to Puerto Rico or Tesla for Puerto Rico, not the banks. As Puerto Rico is flat busted broke with more debt / capita than can ever be repaid, not Puerto Rico. So let’s see, who’s left… Oh, right, the US Taxpayer and folks bilked by pseudo-sorta-“charities”… (Color me skeptical that this is not coming out of mainland tax dollars…)
What about batteries?
To support the above solar plant, the company would need a 5,000 MWh (5,000,000 kWh) battery system. To put this in perspective, the world’s largest lithium-ion battery project underway in Australia is a 129 MWh system. So, we’re talking nearly 40 times larger than that! Remember, this is just to power 40 percent of PR. At Tesla’s $250 per kWh, this is $1.25 billion in battery costs alone.
Digging even deeper shows that Tesla (SolarCity) installed 900 MWh in 2016 and 2,400 MWh in its history. Powering 40 percent of PR would require over double the company’s lifetime output.
All in all, PR is looking at just shy of $10 billion to cover this project, and this doesn’t include interest. This is double what it will cost PR to go about it the traditional way. Teslarati factors in a 20-year loan at 7 percent (under such terms PR will pay over $20 billion). Will it pay off?
We start to get a clue how the funding works by looking at some of the prior such “projects”. This story is about Puerto Rico, but includes the retro info:
Back in 2016, Musk installed a microgrid on the island of Ta’u in American Samoa. Up until November of that year, the island had run primarily on diesel shipped in from the mainland. So Musk stepped in to install more than 5,000 solar panels and 60 Tesla Powerpacks for storage, as the Verge reported at the time. It was primarily funded by American Samoa and federal agencies like the Department of the Interior.
Maybe someone ought to ring up Trump and tell him to make sure Elon is not sucking on a $Billion sized Dept of ??? teat somewhere unobserved. Oh, wait, looks like maybe folks are already thinking along those lines:
[..] But perhaps the most disturbing part of the response to Hurricane Maria’s effect on Puerto Rico is that the federal government’s help in recovery is not guaranteed. There’s no evidence that the feds are interested in funding their own large-scale public recovery projects. There’s also no reason to believe the federal government will subsidize Musk’s private efforts, as it did with Ta’u. And, most alarmingly, there’s nothing to suggest that the White House intends to enforce proper oversight over any aspect of the rebuilding at all.
Though maybe it’s a “Spec” deal with NGO / Charity / Government money to be hustled later:
The hospital’s new system allows it to generate all the energy it needs, according to El Nuevo Dia. The facility has 35 permanent residents with chronic conditions; it also offers services to some 3,000 young patients, the newspaper says. As for who is paying for the power system, the head of the hospital tells Nuevo Dia that for now, it’s a donation — and that after the energy crisis is over, a deal could make it permanent.
So “The first one’s always free” comes to mind… and a “deal” later? Watch that space…
More recently (therefore approaching “later”…)
Cuomo rallies for federal relief package for Puerto Rico
By Ruth Weissmann and Anna Sanders
February 3, 2018 | 4:22pm | Updated
Gov. Cuomo continue to call on Congress to fund a $94.4 billion disaster relief package for Puerto Rico at a rally in the Bronx on Saturday, more than four months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.
“What we do today will determine the future of Puerto Rico — that is how serious this is,” Cuomo declared at a South Bronx nonprofit center.
Congress passed a $36.5 billion aid package in October 2017 that included funding for hurricane and wildfire relief to Puerto Rico and others, but the island says this isn’t enough.
The $94 billion aid package requested by Puerto Rico includes $31 billion to rebuild homes and another $18 billion for electricity.
Let’s see… 3 Million population. $18,000 million for “electricity”… That’s $6,000 / person. At that rate, you could buy each one of them a personal Honda Generator and have $5000 left over for fuel. Per person.
Or: $10 Billion to bail out Tesla. $5 Billion to build the real power grid that will run things. And $3 Billion left over for “Friends Of Bill” and various payola. What’s not to like? /sarc;
Well, at least I think we know where Tesla expects to get the paycheck…