Everyone knows Hawaii is a tropical paradise with a rich culture and natural beauty coming out its metaphorical backside, but being an isolated island chain in the South Pacific, it has some problems when it comes to generating energy.
93.7 percent of Hawaii’s energy comes from nonrenewable resources such as petroleum and coal (presumably because volcano lair technology hasn’t yet trickled down from the world’s supervillains). That means power isn’t cheap. The knock-on effect is that cooling public spaces like schools isn’t necessarily something the local government can afford.
That’s a problem for school kids. Not only is the average temperature in Hawaii above 85 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s also humid as all hell, which makes learning tough. To combat this, and ensure that the next generation of Hawaiians are as smart as the world needs them to be, the governor of Hawaii challenged Tesla to come up with a way to cool 1,000 classrooms without increasing energy usage by the schools.
If you think that Elon Musk, aka the South African Tony Stark, aka the less problematic Ulysses Klaue, aka the lost member of the cast from that 1980s movie “Explorers,” is going to get issued a challenge like that and not respond, you better think again.
Using its, Tesla was able to install 300 batteries and a whole bunch of solar panels into Hawaiian schools and set them to run high-efficiency air conditioner units to help keep the kids from melting into sad shave-ice puddles.
This isn’t the first time that Musk and Tesla have thrown in their lot with the proletariat. In the aftermath of the hurricane that devastated Puerto Rico, Musk spoke to the government there aboutto help get the power grid reestablished. He also donated solar panels to 150 low-income households in the US, as well as training volunteers for the GRID Alternatives charity to help prepare people for work in the burgeoning solar industry.