Puerto Rico is being rebuilt with the aid of solar companies

Posted Dec 6, 2017 by Karen Graham
The U.S. territory of Puerto Rico is still devastated and is struggling with basic needs, including a widespread lack of electricity. It has been two months since Hurricane Maria devastated the island, and people are still hurting.
Downed power lines in San Juan  the capital of US territory Puerto Rico  where more than half the po...
Downed power lines in San Juan, the capital of US territory Puerto Rico, where more than half the population is still without electricity nearly two months after Hurricane Maria ravaged the island
Ricardo ARDUENGO, AFP/File
And while the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is reporting that in the San Juan financial district, "68.49 percent of customers have electricity," they avoid giving out information on the rest of the island, and it is not pretty.
According to a report from global nonprofit OHorizons, the island is still struggling. Less than half of Puerto Rico, 41 percent, has power, and according to some residents living in isolated communities, it looks like power is still months away. Added to the figures, FEMA is reporting only 48.5 percent of St. Thomas & 38.20 percent of St. Croix customers have electricity.
An influx of solar from Sonnen and OHorizon
In early October, Digital Journal began reporting on the number of entrepreneurs, volunteers solar energy companies and tech companies that had stepped up to aid Puerto Rico in restoring the power grid and cell phone access. And the efforts have not stopped.
Children are able to play board games at night thanks to the Luci inflatable solar lights we provide...
Children are able to play board games at night thanks to the Luci inflatable solar lights we provided. When school starts again, they’ll be able to use these lights to do their homework. (Image dated 12/05/2017)
For example, OHorizons is sending 25,000 solar lights with batteries and charging systems that generate up to 15 hours of power per charge, 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.”
Sonnen battery company is continuing the efforts it began just two weeks after the devastating hurricane hit with its pledge to build microgrids to improve the island’s resilience in instances of grid interruptions. Sonnen has formed the Foundation for Energy Security to provide aid to individuals and entire communities in need, including those impacted by energy instability, who would benefit from clean, reliable and affordable energy.
The sonnen Puerto Rico Energy Security Initiative (PRESI) is well underway. Sonnen has donated 15 mi...
The sonnen Puerto Rico Energy Security Initiative (PRESI) is well underway. Sonnen has donated 15 micro-grids to support community sites around the island and is currently in Puerto Rico working with local partner, Pura Energia to install the micro-grid systems.
“(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.”
Tesla announces six new projects in Puerto Rico
Tesla's first power restoration project involved powering a children’s hospital in San Juan. With Tesla's combination of solar cells and Powerpack commercial energy storage batteries, the system can generate enough solar energy to power the hospital during the day & store up to 500 kWh of energy as a backup.
Tesla Powerpack on Twitter
Now, Tesla is partnering with Puerto Rico on six battery projects as part of a larger effort to power two islands in Puerto Rico - Vieques and Culebra. These projects will incorporate Tesla Powerpack battery systems with solar arrays already in place on the two islands to run microgrids.
Because a lack of energy resources can impact the health and well-being of people, the Tesla battery systems are being deployed to essential locations first, including a sewer treatment plant, the Arcadia water pumping station, the Ciudad Dorada elderly community, the Susan Centeno hospital, and the Boys and Girls Club of Vieques.