What better way to learn about solar energy than to help with installations. That’s part of the thinking behind sending three Wood Mackenzie analysts to Puerto Rico, where they’re helping install solar and gaining real-world knowledge of renewable energy that they can share with local utilities. The trip is also in support of a new initiative to support the Let’s Share the Sun initiative.
Let’s Share the Sun Foundation facilitates the use of solar energy in poor communities throughout the world. One of its most recent projects is in Adjuntas, Puerto Rico, where three quarters of the electrical power for the island is generated from petroleum, and natural disasters have weakened already shaky infrastructure. The project in Adjuntas involves installing 60 solar panels and batteries on five homes that lack consistent energy access with limited or no connection to the electricity grid.
In addition to helping with the installations, the analysts will be hosting energy-transition related webinars to raise awareness and funds to help support the project. The funds are being matched by Wood Mackenzie and its parent company Verisk.
“We have already seen the positive impact of this initiative. Just a few days ago, we visited a beneficiary who was amazed they didn’t need to run a generator to keep their oxygen machine running during an extended outage,” said Bernadette Jordan, executive director of the Let’s Share the Sun Foundation.
In 2019, Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rosselló signed PS 1121, which sets a 100% by 2050 renewable electricity mandate for the island. In February 2022, the government of Puerto Rico and three US federal agencies signed a memorandum of understanding to align federal funds with local policies. NREL recently announced the launch of a study to evaluate paths for Puerto Rico to reach 100% renewables. NREL reported that Puerto Rico has 20GW of utility-scale solar potential, mostly along the coasts, and 20GW of distributed solar potential. Solar + Energy Storage Association of Puerto Rico (SESA) president PJ Wilson estimated 10GW of solar could meet Puerto Rico’s energy needs.
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