Musk, Trump May Come To Puerto Rico's Rescue With Solar, Debt Relief

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Maria struck Puerto Rico on September 20 as a very risky Category 4 hurricane with winds up to 155 miles per hour (249 km per hour), cutting off power to all 3.4 million residents on the island.

Tesla Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is stepping up with an offer that could help save Puerto Rico's power grid, which was obliterated by deadly Hurricane Maria a couple of weeks ago.

The conversation began on Thursday when a social media user asked Musk whether his auto, energy and solar panel company could rebuild Puerto Rico's electric grid. "Such a decision would be in the hands of the PR govt, PUC, any commercial stakeholders and, most importantly, the people of PR". After the hurricane left the island's grid in shambles, Tesla reportedly sent hundreds of Powerwalls - battery systems created to store energy - along with employees to install them in an effort to restore power.

"Let's talk", Rossello responded to Musk on Twitter early Friday, noting that such a system could be a "flagship project" for Tesla.

"Do you want to show the world the power and scalability of your #TeslaTechnologies?". Some estimates have said that a full restoration of power may not return to Puerto Rico for as long as six months.


With Puerto Rico now relying on half its energy from importing and burning oil, while the rest comes from natural gas and coal, its inhabitants are having to pay high monthly bills for the utility. Puerto Rico has 3.4 million residents.

Tesla has delayed the unveiling of the truck, called Tesla Semi, for the second time this year.

Musk says that the second part of the reason for the delay is that Tesla will "increase battery production for Puerto Rico & other affected areas".

In November 2016, SolarCity - a Tesla subsidiary - announced it had installed a solar power and microgrid on Ta'u that could power almost all of the island's needs.

Gov. Rossello responded on Twitter that he would be interested in having a conversation with Musk.

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