Resilient Power Puerto Rico (RPPR), a solar power initiative formed in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, has launched a $2.5 million outreach initiative to bring electricity to 100 community centers throughout Puerto Rico, some of which are still without power nearly six months after the hurricane. The RPPR team, including Jonathan Marvel of Marvel Architects, Cristina Roig and José J. Terrasa-Soler of Marvel Architects, have been working to create storm resilient microgrids that utilize solar energy and battery storage systems, like the Tesla Powerwall.
Puerto Rico has been the focus of numerous solar initiatives looking to supplement the power shortages caused by the damage to the island’s electrical power grid. With the support of key funding partners, RPPR has launched an ambitious initiative to install 5 kW to 10 kW solar microgrids in high-impact sites across the island including La Playita and Caño Martin Pena, two densely populated communities in the San Juan metro area.
“We have an opportunity to make a significant humanitarian impact while also shifting the paradigm on how energy is delivered and consumed on the island,” said Jonathan Marvel, who was recently appointed to the Resilient Puerto Rico Advisory Commission, and whose architectural firm serves as the hub of RPPR’s operations.
Working with local electrical engineers and Tesla-trained installers, RPPR’s immediate aim is to provide relief to underserved locations and help them rebuild. RPPR works closely with community leaders, charitable organizations and municipalities to identify eligible sites that provide direct relief and vital social services to underserved communities without access to generators. The group is focused on addressing immediate needs with an eye toward building island communities’ long-term energy resiliency.
“This is a turning point for Puerto Rico – an opportunity to rebuild the power grid in a smart, cost effective way while also serving as a model for how renewables can be part of a long-term energy solution,” said Cristina Roig who leads the group’s strategic partnership initiatives. “People are paying attention to what happens here.”
News item from RPPR