Two months after Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, much of the island is still without the electricity that is needed to provide basic services. And as the Trump Administration continues to largely ignore this major humanitarian crisis, the solar industry is stepping up.
Among the solar companies that has provided aid to the battered island is Sunrun, which today announced that it will provide PV systems and batteries to an additional five fire stations on the island, in collaboration with non-profit Empowered by Light and local contractor Aireko Energy Group. This brings the total number of fire stations which will be supplied under the partnership to eight.
The plans for the additional fives states were made possible by donations by the Kresge foundations and “hundreds of individuals”.
These PV and battery storage systems will operate as self-contained microgrids, providing continuous power for emergency operations at the fire stations, and Sunrun states that when grid power returns they can be part of the grid solution and provide peak shaving and ancillary services to the grid.
“Firefighters across Puerto Rico are still struggling to find power at home and work,” said San Juan Fire Department Lieutenant Francisco Cruz. “These solar and battery systems are bringing our critical equipment back up and running, keeping it on, and enabling us to again serve our communities desperately in need.”
This is far from the only aid being provided by the solar industry to Puerto Rico, where Sunrun estimates that half of the population is still without power. Earlier this month the Solar Foundation announced a partnership with leading aid organizations including Clinton Foundation and Operation Blessing as well as 20 solar companies and organizations. Sunrun has also donated equipment to that effort.