Seeking to achieve greater energy security and provide continuity to its services, nonprofit organization Iniciativa Comunitaria Inc. received the donation of a retractable solar panel system with batteries.
This donation was made possible through a coalition composed of several international companies and citizens who support the humanitarian work carried out by the organization with the homeless, substance users and people living with HIV/AIDS, nonprofit officials announced.
“For Iniciativa Comunitaria, having this system is a great blessing since it allows us to expand our photovoltaic system and continue operations when power services fail,” said Yorelys Rivera-Amador, executive director of the nonprofit.
“This donation is a gathering of wills that demonstrates the power of alliances between companies that transcend their borders. Today we celebrate this great ensemble,” she said.
After Hurricane Maria, PWRstation, a solar company based in Switzerland and creator of the EXOrac systems, established PWR for Puerto Rico to help in the recovery of the island. They were joined by Schneider Electric and EDF ENR Photowatt, based in France and Crown Battery, based in the United States with local presence.
Locally, the initiative had the support of New Energy, a Puerto Rican company that donated the installation of the equipment, and Carmen Colón and Sandy Skelaney who coordinated the logistics of the project, she said.
This equipment is different because it contains a retractable racking system that allows the solar panels to be extended and activated in minutes to generate energy. It can be closed before a hurricane and be reopened following the hurricane without energy interruption. A single person can prepare the equipment as it moves like an accordion.
Robert Albertella, executive director of PWRstation, said “we’re grateful to our partners for participating in this small, but important initiative to provide some energy security to Iniciativa Comunitaria.”
“Every person who has worked in favor of making this donation understands how important it is to prepare for the possibility of future atmospheric events. In 2017 Puerto Rico was terribly impacted by Hurricane María and it is expected that these atmospheric phenomena will increase as our climate continues to change,” said Olivier Jacquet, representative of Schneider Electric.
“For this reason, the solar generators that have found a new home in Iniciative Communitaria are examples of a practical and effective alternative for generating energy,” Jacquet said
Alejandro Uriarte, president of New Energy said he was “proud to be able to contribute to make Iniciativa Comunitaria more energetically resilient and to continue providing its much-needed services to the community in the event of another natural disaster.”