Hurricane Maria and other disasters this year have wiped out critical public infrastructure in Puerto Rico and neighboring Caribbean islands. Populations have been left without the essentials of water, electricity, and communications. I have found myself asking “What is the role of solar energy in disaster relief and reconstruction?” My friends at Homer Energy, a microgrid modeling company out of Boulder, CO, are a step ahead. They are highlighting the humanitarian activities of organizations implementing solar energy for critical services including clean water, communications, police and fire stations, and medical clinics.
Following are links to four non-profit organizations highlighted by Homer Energy. These groups are on the ground in Puerto Rico today providing solar energy solutions to meet immediate needs and help rebuild sustainably. If you are looking to make a difference for people in Puerto Rico these groups will make good use of your donations or equipment.
Keep reading to find out more about each organization.
ORGANIZATIONS DISSEMINATING SOLAR SOLUTIONS TO HELP THE PEOPLE OF PUERTO RICO
EMPOWERED BY LIGHT: Empowered by Light is installing solar + storage on fire stations in communities that will otherwise be without power of any kind for many months. These systems power critical loads and enable the stations to better serve as community centers in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. They are also deploying water desalination and purification systems that produce 250 gallons of water daily–enough to provide essential drinking water to over 500 people. Go to Fund Solar+Storage+ Clean Water for Fire Stations.
SOLAR PUERTO RICO: PJ Wilson, the founder of Renew Missouri, is in Puerto Rico distributing small off-grid solar kits, consisting of solar panels, batteries, and LED lights. His goal is to distribute 150 of these systems in the next two weeks. FUND Off-grid Solar Kits
RESILIENT POWER PUERTO RICO: Resilient Power Puerto Rico was launched in the hours following Hurricane Maria’s devastating strike on the island of Puerto Rico. Resilient Power Puerto Rico starts with nimble, targeted efforts to deliver solar generators to the most under-served areas of Puerto Rico as a relief measure to get communities powered up and back in contact, with a planned evolution into long-term disaster-preparedness and clean-energy solutions to impact the entire island. FUND Solar Generators
SOLAR SAVES LIVES:Solar Saves Lives is a new initiative to coordinate shipments of urgently needed solar and battery storage equipment to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. We are seeking both product donations from the solar industry, and monetary contributions that will go directly to the relief effort. Solar Saves Lives is led by The Solar Foundation in partnership with the Clinton Foundation, Operation Blessing, Direct Relief, and J/P HRO DONATE Product or Money for Solar+Storage
If you know of other organizations working with solar in Puerto Rico, send an email to power.puertorico@homerenergy. com