Clean energy pilot project to deliver reliable electricity to Culebra
Environmental Defense Fund, Fundación Colibrí, and Genesis Solar broke ground on the initial phase of a community-based solar and storage pilot project that “will deliver clean, affordable, and reliable electricity” to some 40 households on the island municipality of Culebra, officials announced.
The pilot aims to advance energy independence in Culebra by installing solar panels and batteries in low- and moderate- income households ahead of this year’s hurricane season and will support the island municipality’s vision to become a “resilient island.”
Priority will be given to the elderly, families with children and those with health and other special needs.
“Today brings a ray of hope to Puerto Rico. After the countless blackouts we’ve experienced since the tragedy of hurricane María, the small and industrious island municipality of Culebra is implementing long-lasting energy solutions that will be a model of energy independence for other areas in the territory,” said Agustín Carbó, senior manager of energy transition at the Environmental Defense Fund.
“The residents of Culebra are the real heroes today. They have come together in unprecedented ways to launch a variety of energy initiatives and make their community resilient in the face of climate change,” he said.
“Environmental Defense Fund is committed to supporting them by bringing clean and resilient power to their homes,” he said. “Community-led clean energy projects like this one can amass the political will and encourage the right policies, so Puerto Rico can meet its environmental goals. What’s more, it can serve as a model for communities throughout the Caribbean who are on the front-line of climate change.”
Environmental Defense Fund is developing a project to demonstrate the feasibility of distributed energy resource systems for residences in Culebra that can reduce the island’s dependence on fossil fuels.
These systems can maximize locally generated renewable energy, such as solar power, and are run backed by battery storage and intelligent software. Linked to the larger grid — ensuring the delivery of affordable, clean, and reliable energy every day — they will be designed to also separate from the grid during emergencies, like Hurricane María.