Elon Musk’s Puerto Rico Power Grid Plan Could Affect U.S. Homes
Tesla's Elon Musk wants to supply the island of Puerto Rico with an entirely new power grid following the devastating Hurricane Irma. What are the implications for mainland U.S. homes?
Tesla's Elon Musk recently proposed supplying the devastated island of Puerto Rico with an entirely new power grid following Hurricane Irma. That move, if it happens, could have positive ripple effects for homes in mainland U.S.
Cleaner Power Grid
A new power grid for Puerto Rico will immediately make local utility power grids seem even more outdated. This could put pressure on local utilities to improve their own electrical grid, which could result in fewer surges, spikes and transient voltages in mainland U.S. homes.
This results in cleaner power, which can affect clients' streaming services, which often have to stop and restart due to voltage spikes. Cleaner power also means improved clarity in music throughout the home. “Dirty power” can cause crackle and hum that affect amplifiers and receivers.
Less Expensive Solar Power
The new grid could accelerate the alternative energy market, meaning solar panels and home energy batteries will become less expensive and more available.
The Puerto Rico deployment will act as a living test ground for the financial viability of a widespread alternative energy deployment that could spur mainland utilities to attempt similar grid deployments. In the end, that is good news for homeowners.
Increased Home Values
Typically if a home is located near a power plant, it's worth less. Studies indicate that U.S. energy consumption is expected to increase by 30 percent in the coming years. This represents a logistical problem for many utilities, which cannot meet the demand without new energy sources. That means constructing coal and fossil fuel plants that create air and noise pollution, which negatively affects housing prices nearby.
If Musk’s Puerto Rico system works well, it offers a strong alternative for utilities.
Proliferation of Battery Power
Part of Tesla’s offering is the Tesla Powerwall, which provides seven days of self-contained battery power to run a home based on a normal 24 kWh/day usage. But the product is expensive, costing thousands of dollars, plus installation costs, for your clients.
If the Puerto Rico project works with solar panels and battery power, it will eventually lead to larger mass market adoption, which will drive down costs, and make it a viable option for homeowners.
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