Tesla recently acquired SolarCity with the promise of tough solar panels for your roof that would make financial sense before they generated even a watt of power. The question, though, was just how these microgrids would work once you set them up. We’ll soon have an answer — on American Samoa.
Ta’u, 4000 miles from the US, could really use stable power. The tiny island mostly lives off diesel fuel, which is expensive and has to be imported. Ta’u also doesn’t get consistent imports, So what Tesla did was set up a “microgrid,” a small solar farm and a collection of batteries to store power, that can replace generators and store up to three days’ worth of electricity. It also means power can be on around the clock and the grid will recharge the batteries quickly enough that it would take a major disaster to shut it down.