Tesla installs 300 Powerwalls to give Hawaiian school kids AC

The governor of Hawaii issued a challenge to the Hawaii State Department of Education to cool its kids without running up energy bills, and Tesla's Powerwall was the answer.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
2 min read

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 the Hawaii State Department of Education to cool 1000 classrooms and while not increasing its electricity usage.  Tesla 's Powerwall and solar technology ended up being the perfect partner to get the job done.

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.

Tesla Elon Musk Hawaiian Schools
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Tesla Elon Musk Hawaiian Schools

"Use solar to power air conditioners for Hawaiian schoolchildren? Hold my Tang, I got this."

VCG/Getty Images

Using its Powerwall technology, 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 about donating Powerwalls to 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.

Update 2/23 5:01 P.M.: The challenge was issued by the governor of Hawaii to the Hawaii State Department of Education and not to Tesla directly as was originally reported.