Sunnova steps up: CEO, Puerto Rican governor discuss rebuilding island’s grid

Texas-based Sunnova knows a little bit about hurricanes, after having its hometown of Houston was devastated by Hurricane Harvey. And as they watched the devastation in Puerto Rico mount – especially its destroyed electrical grid, it knew it had to act.

Yesterday, the residential solar company’s CEO John Berger met with Governor Ricardo Rosselló and other officials to exchange ideas on how to rebuild the island’s electrical grid, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria on September 20. As of Friday, 95% of the island remained without electricity.

This morning, Berger will examine projects being put online by installers and technicians working under Sunnova’s auspices, which will restore electricity across the island. Sunnova is a third-party owner/financier and seller of residential PV systems and works with a network of installers, and these companies have installed 10,000 projects in Puerto Rico to date.

Sunnova has been working in Puerto Rico since 2014. The projects its members have installed make it the second largest electricity provider on the island, behind only Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA).

The company also announced that it would be shipping batteries to the island to pair with its already installed systems.

“Now is the time to reshape the way power infrastructure looks on this island. Particularly distributed solar and battery power, which will be essential to rebuilding the grid and ensuring future energy reliability to residents across the island,” Berger said. ““We have been and will continue to be committed to the people on this island, not just now in a time of crisis, but long into the future.”

“Puerto Rico is an incredible community and one that we’ve been proud to be a part of,” Berger said. “We are doing everything we can to share in the collective conversation with local officials here by offering our support and working to build the next generation of clean energy infrastructure on the island.”

The company’s efforts join a wider group of solar companies that have committed to rebuilding the island’s shattered grid, joining companies like Tesla Energy, Sunrun, Vivint Solar and others. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is also attempting to organize its own efforts to get solar companies to provide services and equipment to Puerto Rico’s 3.4 million residents.