Puerto Rico receives an influx of solar-powered help


Two months after Hurricane Maria virtually destroyed the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, residents of the island still struggle to find reliable electricity. Thankfully, one organization and one energy storage company – OHorizons and sonnen – are trying to help.

While the Federal Emergency Management Agency has removed removed from its website statistics about how much of the island still lacks power, anecdotal evidence from global nonprofit OHorizons indicates the island is still struggling.

That’s why the organization is sending 25,000 solar lights with batteries and charging systems that generate power for up to 15 hrs/charges, as well as 75 solar refrigeration units so hospitals can store their vaccine and other supplies safely.

“The impact of Hurricanes Irma and Maria stuck particularly close to our hearts,” stated Orlando Bustos, founder of OHorizons and Puerto Rican resident. “This is still a humanitarian emergency. Just yesterday, I was talking with women residents of Utuado who described the fear they experience nightly in the total darkness.”

In other efforts, residential battery company sonnen is continuing the efforts it began a mere two weeks after Maria with its pledge to build microgrids to improve the island’s resilience in instances of grid interruptions.

The manufacturer announced the formation of the Foundation for Energy Security, which will centralize the oversight of microgrid construction in conjunction with its partner on the island, Pura Energia. Initially, the foundation will focus on building microgrids for essential community services like schools, community centers and relief shelters.

“(The fact-finding visit) deeply impacted our entire leadership team and solidified our resolve to help the people of Puerto Rico,” said Christoph Ostermann, CEO of sonnen. “We come away from this trip with as clear a vision as ever before for Puerto Rico and the rest of the world.”


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