Sonnen announced the commissioning of a solar+smart energy storage microgrid at a primary healthcare facility in the Mameyes Abajo neighborhood of Utuado in Puerto Rico. This microgrid is particularly important as healthcare has been a matter of vital concern since Hurricane Maria made landfall more than six months ago.
The clinic is located in the rural, mountainous region of Utuado, where one-hundred percent of the residents have been without power and most have been without running water since September of 2017.
Recognizing the urgent need for medical care, the clinic was built in an unused building in Mameyes Abajo, and is serviced by local organization, Corporation for Health and Socioeconomic Development of OTOAO. The local terrain makes the region difficult to access, which has made regular receipt of medical supplies and treatment challenging.
Running entirely off-grid, the clinic is reliant on the microgrid to power its healthcare technology, lights and refrigeration, providing enough energy to allow the clinic to administer the necessary medical and mental health care that local residents have not been able to access since Hurricane Maria.
The microgrid, installed in collaboration with sonnen’s local energy partner Pura Energía, is the first primary healthcare clinic powered by sonnen. The clinic serves as a model for the resiliency created by solar+storage technologies, as it represents a fully off-grid site deep in the rural mountains of Puerto Rico. sonnen donated the sonnenBatterie eco 16 (8 kW / 16 kWh) smart energy storage system, which is paired with a 10kW rooftop solar system provided by Pura Energía.
“We know that this installation is about more than just the power – it’s about enabling the on-site health professionals to maintain the health and welfare of local residents,” said Adam Gentner, sonnen’s director of business development, Latin American expansion. “Puerto Rico’s adoption of solar energy and storage is a demonstration that microgrids can not only aid in disaster relief and recovery, but also implement resilient energy solutions in preparation for future natural disasters and power outages. We will continue to work towards our goal of achieving clean and reliable clean energy for all.”
“Puerto Rico’s residents are incredibly dependent on public health programs, and when you consider that only 13% of assessed healthcare centers had power restored in the months after Hurricane Maria, the long-term toll is and will be far greater than that reported,” said Jose Garcia, president at Pura Energía. “Thanks to the incredible support of partners like sonnen, we are able to ensure the health and safety of our community by powering our facility using nothing but solar+storage technologies.”
The clinic is the site of the tenth microgrid system that sonnen and Pura Energía have installed on the island since Hurricane Maria struck in September 2017. Other microgrids have included community and relief centers, washing machines and laundromat centers, food distribution centers and two schools, including one that plans to remain entirely off-grid even after power was restored. All efforts and technology were donated by sonnen and Pura Energía via the del Sol Foundation for Energy Security, exceeding $350,000.
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