Ta'u runs 100 percent on sunpower. The island of Ta'u is located in the Pacific Ocean, is part of the Samoa Islands and has 800 inhabitants. It is a small island, but there is sun almost every day and the climate is very pleasant. This sounds like a normal tropical island where many people would like to spend their holidays. There is, however, something that makes this island different from the rest and that is that the whole island is supplied with power generated by solar energy.
Before the solar panels, Ta'u only turned on a set of diesel generators. This is the case for many small islands in the Pacific. As a result, they often had to deal with breakdowns and malfunctions, plus that diesel is very expensive and that it had to be supplied from afar. More than 109,500 gallons of diesel were fired every year, which was terrible for the environment and could not provide a reliable source of energy for the Islanders.
Ta'u from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
Ta‘ūis the largest island in the Manu‘a Groupand the easternmost volcanic island of the Samoan Islands. Ta‘ū is part of American Samoa. In the early 19th century, the island was sometimes called Opoun. Ta‘ū is well known as the site where the American anthropologist Margaret Mead conducted her dissertation research in Samoa in the 1920s.
Tesla and Solarcity
This project, carried out by companies Tesla and SolarCity, has shown that it is possible to supply whole communities with green electricity. It has been known for some time that the use of fossil fuels is very damaging to the environment and they have enough sunpower here. Of course, the climate at Ta'u is perfect, and they use less energy because they do not need heating, but that does not mean that this can not be carried out elsewhere on a larger scale. The Islanders are in any case very happy. The project ensures that they can rely on a hospital, police station and primary school that is always provided with electricity.
It took a year before the installation was finished and could be completely transferred to sustainable energy. During that year they installed 5328 solar panels that can generate 1.4 Megawatts of solar power. Tesla has provided 60 Powerpack batteries where the energy is stored. It takes 7 hours for these batteries to be filled. Should Ta'u be for some reason without sun, then the Islanders can use the power stored there for another three days. Fortunately, this is hardly the case with Ta'u.
The costs for this project will soon pay off because it was costly for Ta'u to have enough diesel delivered and burned regularly. Other communities naturally have to deal with different circumstances. However, what they have been able to demonstrate is that there is a future with sunpower and that the use of fossil fuels, which causes a great deal of damage to our environment at the moment, can be reduced.
This video has been published on YouTube by SolarCity