Residents, small businesses burn through $4M in solar energy subsidies
Puerto Rico home and small business owners burned through $4 million in subsidies offered through the Green Energy Fund for solar energy projects Wednesday, filing a record-setting 120 applications in 21 minutes, Energy Affairs Administration Executive Director Luis Bernal said.
The money, which goes to cover 40 percent of the costs associated with installing a solar panel system, will be split between 90 homeowners and 31 small businesses, which will have to complete the application process in coming weeks.
Applications for the Green Energy Fund were received from credit unions, bakeries, malls, medical offices, distribution centers, small hotels and funeral homes, said Bernal.
As News is my Business reported, the Green Energy Fund opened an application window at 8 a.m. Wednesday, to accept requests for funding on a first-come, first-served basis until the money ran out.
“For this cycle we earmarked $4 million, while the private sector will contribute about $6.1 million for a total investment of more than $10 million to develop renewable energy projects,” Bernal said. “We continue to increase the installed capacity of renewable energy on the island and see sustained growth in this industry.”
He said one of the factors that influenced the increase in the number of projects submitted responds to the creation of a sub-segment for projects under 15kW capacity — or Tier 1 — to separate them from projects generating between 16kW and 100 kW of renewable energy. Bernal also acknowledged the agency’s decision to adjust the baseline cost from $ 7.50 to $ 5.50 contributed to the positive surge.
Over the past 12 months, the Green Energy Fund has spurred the installation of about 9 megawatts of distributed generation across the island, excluding the 2 megawatts expected to come from the projects submitted Wednesday morning.