Dive Brief: Sunrun and several renewable energy nonprofits have partnered to deliver solar-powered projects to Puerto Rico, as the island struggles to recover from Hurricane Maria’s devastation in September.
Along with Sunrun, Empowered by Light, Givepower and Zero Mass Water are working to install solar microgrids, water desalination and purification systems, and water production systems at fire stations on Puerto Rico.
A month after Hurricane Maria knocked out power to all of Puerto Rico’s 3.5 million residents, the devastated island is still largely without electricity – and finding clean drinking water is a challenge as well.
In addition to humanitarian relief, renewable energy companies now see an opportunity to prove on the ground that solar energy and storage are more resilient energy options for the island.
“We wanted to demonstrate with real projects – with immediate impact – that renewable energy technology is available now and it’s a much more resilient alternative to diesel.”
The effort, led by Empowered by Light, includes the delivery and installation of the two solar-powered microgrids, and the deployment of three solar-powered water desalination systems, five water production systems and three portable solar-powered units to remote communities on the island.
Tesla has sent hundreds of battery storage packs to help Puerto Rico, and German energy storage company Sonnen plans to build microgrids on the island.