When it comes to building power grids, Tesla loves the island life. Over the last year, the company has been installing large-scale energy systems in Australia, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico—and next on the list is the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts.
The 48-square-mile island currently relies on two underwater power cables to supply electricity from the mainland, and a pair of outdated diesel generators to serve as an energy backup. But with energy demands on the island rising and those six-megawatt generators nearing the end of their lifecycle, utility company National Grid is turning to Tesla for a next-generation solution to manage its energy.
To this end, Nantucket is getting 200 utility-scale Tesla Powerpacks, capable of storing 48 megawatt hours, one of Tesla’s largest energy storage projects so far. This means that short interruptions in power from the mainland can be covered by the stored energy. If necessary, a single new generator can fill in the gaps.
The Powerpack system will also help to stabilize the island’s power grid when energy demands are high—like in the summer months when the 10,000-person island grows to a population of more 50,000. National Grid was planning on installing a third undersea cable, but can now delay that infrastructure project for at least another decade.
“The Town of Nantucket commends National Grid’s decision to deploy an innovative energy storage solution on the island,” said Town of Nantucket Energy Coordinator Lauren Sinatra. “We are confident that the proposed project, combined with targeted energy-saving programs and other planned electric infrastructure upgrades, will play a transformational role in meeting Nantucket’s near- and long-term energy needs.”