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Tesla's Solar Farm Powers Up Hawaiin Island Of Kuaia

By Donna Bellevue , Mar 13, 2017 01:23 AM EDT
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Tesla's large-scale solar farm has been unveiled last week in the Hawaiian island of Kuaia, boasting 54,000 solar panels and battery packs that can power up the whole island. The project was a joint tech venture of Tesla and SolarCity, which aims to install a large battery farm and solar array in Hawaii to provide most of its energy requirement. Now, Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, have control over the solar energy company, and he believes that solar-energy business can be reinforced and complemented by Tesla's energy-storage business.

Before acquiring SolarCity, Tesla made an agreement with the energy company in February 2016 to use Tesla's 52 MWh Powerpack to bring 20 years of power to Kaua’i. Partnering with Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC), that project is now complete and ready to provide electricity to a Hawaiian utility in Kuaia. During the opening ceremony of the facility, Tesla CTO JB Straubel says the facility will be able to provide solar power to KIUC on demand, 24 hours a day.

According to The Green Car Reports, Tesla's Hawaiian solar farm is composed of 54,978 solar panels with 13 megawatts of solar generation capacity. The tech giant has also installed 272 of its large commercial battery, Powerpack 2, to store the solar energy to use at night. KIUC have signed a contract with Tesla to purchase 1 kilowatt-hour of electricity for $.139 over a 20-year time period.

According to the Business Insider, Tesla's large-scale solar project is expected to reduce fossil fuel use by approximately 1.6 million gallons per year, the company estimates. Tesla will begin turning on the massive solar system in phases as it starts to fully immerse into solar energy following its acquisition of SolarCity. Also powered by the tech and enegy giant with its Power packs and solar panels is most of the entire island of Ta’u in American Samoa.

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