Hurricane Maria, a devastatingly strong Category 4 storm, hit Puerto Rico on September 20th, flooding the entire Island, leaving it in a complete state of emergency by October 3rd. Over a month later, Puerto Rico has remained flooded, and the people there have had little access to electricity, running water, a working sewage system, or even cell service, according to Vox.
Elon Musk, the brilliant entrepreneur, and social innovator known for working on big problems that matter, recently spoke with the Governor of Puerto Rico, and discussed Tesla's ability to aid the island.
A few days ago Tesla brought power to the Hospital del Niño, a children's hospital, with the help of solar panels. Musk announced that "this is the first of many solar and battery Tesla projects going live in Puerto Rico."
This act is nothing short of incredible for Puerto Rico, but is also the perfect example of how innovation can bypass policy to create faster solutions for those in dire need.
This is especially true when considering the controversy surrounding Whitefish Energy, a 2-person firm based out of Montana that has only been around for two years, being granted a $300 Million contract to repair the power grid in Puerto Rico.
Although no illegal allegations have been made, the company is being scrutinized by the Department of Homeland Security after lawmakers and press protested. The twitter feud between Whitefish and San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, only sparked more controversy when Whitefish responded to the Mayor by threatening to pull out of Puerto Rico.
It's worth noting that this isn't the first time Elon Musk and Tesla have used solar power to power huge stretches of land. Last November, Tesla supplied nearly 100 percent of Ta'u's island (the largest Island in the American Soma) with electricity from solar panels.
Elon Musk's work as an entrepreneur is legendary, with his two biggest claims to fame, PayPal and Tesla, paving the way for online payment transactions and clean energy. But it's his work as a humanitarian and social innovator that sets him apart.
The work Musk does with Tesla not only provides much needed relief for the people in need today, as seen with Puerto Rico, but it also send a larger message. By delivering meaningful solutions to social and humanitarian problems, his work stands as a testament to how technology and entrepreneurship truly has the power to change the world for the better.