Business magnate Elon Musk of Tesla 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 ripple effects for your own home… even if you don’t live in Puerto Rico.
Here’s why you should care:
Cleaner Power Grid. It will immediately make your local utility power grid seem even more outdated. This could put pressure on your local utility to improve its own electrical grid, which could result in fewer surges, spikes and transient voltages in your home. This results in cleaner power, which can affect your streaming service, which often has to stop and restart due to voltage spikes. Cleaner power also means improved clarity in the music you listen to in your home. “Dirty power” can cause crackle and hum that affect amplifiers and receivers.
Less-Expensive Solar Power. It 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. If your home is located near a power plant, it is 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 its Powerwall product that 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. 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 your own home.
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