Tesla’s first project to restore electricity in Puerto Rico is a children’s hospital in San Juan.
The automaker, which previously committed to helping the U.S. territory recover from Hurricane Maria, is combining its commercial batteries and solar panels at the children’s hospital. The company said it is the first of many projects on the island that will use batteries and solar panel to restore power there.
Gov. Ricardo Rossello announced the project during a press conference Tuesday, which was broadcast via Facebook.
Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm in late September, causing widespread damage and knocking out electrical power to the entire island of 3.5 million residents. As soon as the storm passed, Tesla began sending hundreds of its Powerwall battery systems that can be paired with solar panels to the devastated island in an effort to restore electric power there. The Powerwall, which was first introduced in April 2015, is a battery designed for homes that store the energy generated by solar panels.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has also personally donated $250,000 to the relief effort.
As of Tuesday, 24% of the island had power.
A week after the first Powerwalls were sent to Puerto Rico, Musk said on Twitter that the company could theoretically rebuild the U.S. territory’s electricity system with solar and battery systems. Rossello quickly jumped in on the Twitter discussion and invited Musk to talk about making the island a flagship project for Tesla.
Puerto Rico and Tesla officials are reportedly in talks about a larger effort that could make the company a centerpiece to a new power grid on the island.