The governor of hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico — where more than 90 percent of the homes and businesses remain without power — wants Tesla chief and renewable energy guru Elon Musk to get the juice back on.
“Do you want to show the world the power and scalability of your #TeslaTechnologies?” Gov. Ricardo Rossello tweeted Thursday at Musk. “PR could be that flagship project.”
Musk replied on Friday that he “would be happy to talk.”
Rossello told reporters he expects to have a conversation with the Tesla chief executive officer, and said Puerto Rico needs to consider meeting its
energy needs with more environmentally friendly technology.
Musk himself prompted the conversation with a tweet earlier Thursday.
“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. … and, most importantly, the people of PR,” Musk tweeted.
“I fully support this!” Glorimar Ripoll, Puerto Rico’s chief innovation officer, chimed in a tweet replying to the governor’s post. “Let’s build the Puerto Rico we all want through innovation #letstalk.”
Tesla is already among a number of US companies sending rooftop panels and batteries to Puerto Rico, where more than 90 percent of homes and businesses remain without electricity more than two weeks after Hurricane Maria destroyed the grid, Bloomberg reported.
The storms knocked out power to millions of utility customers who depend largely on fossil-fuel plants and long-distance transmission lines for service.
Some in Puerto Rico may be in the dark for months as the grid is repaired.
This isn’t the first time Musk has been approached via social media to demonstrate Tesla’s power-storage technology.
Earlier this year, Musk wagered via Twitter that Tesla could install the world’s biggest battery project in Australia within 100 days, or else it would be free. He told reporters last week that the project was on track to meet the deadline.
Tesla also completed a solar energy project on the island of Ta’u in American Samoa.
Meanwhile, President Trump — who has commented several times on how much it will cost to rebuild the US territory — continued praising his administration’s relief efforts.
“We love Puerto Rico. We’re doing great stuff there. We’re marshaling every federal resource at our disposal. We will not rest until that job is done,” he said at the White House during a celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.