Energy Transition

This is Hawaii's solar powered island

Waves crash into a wall as the sun sets on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii, January 2, 2010.         REUTERS/Larry Downing  (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY TRAVEL) FOR BEST QUALITY IMAGE SEE : GM1E64B1I8N01 - RTR28HWH

Tesla's solar farm will power the Hawaiian island of Kauai. Image: REUTERS/Larry Downing

Danielle Muoio
Tech Reporter, Tech Insider
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Energy Transition

Tesla will power the Hawaiian island of Kauai with solar panels and its giant battery packs.

Tesla officially unveiled the project Wednesday morning in Kauai following opening remarks by CTO JB Straubel and David Ige, governor of Hawaii. Tesla partnered with the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) to launch the project.

Image: Tesla

The solar farm is composed of 54,978 solar panels with 13 megawatts of solar generation capacity. Tesla has also installed 272 of its large commercial battery, Powerpack 2, to store the solar energy to use at night.

The project is expected to reduce fossil fuel use by approximately 1.6 million gallons per year, Tesla estimates. Tesla will begin turning on the massive solar system in phases.

Tesla is diving into solar energy following its acquisition of SolarCity last November. Tesla is also powering nearly the entire island of Ta’u in American Samoa with solar power and its Powerpacks.

KIUC signed a contract with Tesla to purchase 1 kilowatt-hour of electricity for $.139 over a 20-year time frame.

Before Tesla acquired SolarCity, the two companies agreed in February 2016 to use Tesla's 52 MWh Powerpack to bring 20 years of power to Kaua’i, so this project has been in the works for quite a bit.

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