Puerto Rico is going to get a big dose of solar power thanks to Elon Musk’s solar company
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) Elon Musk is putting solar panels on the roofs of the island’s poorest residents, hoping to lure more investors and spur the development of a cleaner energy economy that could help the island meet its goals for a clean, renewable energy revolution.
Musk’s SolarCity, which makes solar panels for home use, says it has about 1,000 workers on the island, mostly in the northern part of the U.S. territory.
The company says it hopes to hire 5,000 people over the next year, up from its initial goal of 2,000.
The company is a big player in the solar-panel industry.
It’s one of the largest players in the U, making more than $1.3 billion in annual revenue, according to Bloomberg.
Musk has invested in SolarCity and other solar companies.
He founded Tesla Motors in 2011 and now leads the electric-car maker.
He’s also one of America’s wealthiest people.
The island has been struggling with a severe lack of affordable electricity since Hurricane Maria devastated the island in October, causing widespread power outages and bankruptcies.
It had long been a magnet for tech companies looking to build solar installations, and now, it has become an important part of Musk’s push to boost renewable energy in the United States.
SolarCity’s solar panels can generate electricity, but Musk says he wants to make them as clean as possible, and is targeting people who work in the agriculture, manufacturing, mining and other industries.
SolarCity plans to install panels on about 6,000 homes by mid-April, Musk said Thursday.
The panels will be installed in a “green zone” on rooftops in the Puerto Rico city of San Juan.
The area has a population of about 4.4 million.
“We believe Puerto Rico should be an example of how a clean economy can be replicated across the country,” Musk said in a statement.
He added that he is “delighted to be partnering with SolarCity.”
SolarCity says the panels will help bring electricity to homes and businesses, while providing more renewable energy than other projects, like solar thermal power.
It says it will install about 1 million panels this year.
Musker’s company, Tesla, has built a solar factory in Fremont, California, where he lives and worked for three years before starting Tesla Motors.
SolarWorld, a maker of solar panels, is headquartered in Palo Alto, California.
Musking is also involved in SpaceX, the space-exploration company.
Musk recently said he was considering setting up a solar plant in Florida.