Nonprofit Somos Solar has sponsored a $45,000 solar energy and storage system at the Hogar Cuna San Cristóbal in Caguas that will allow the entity to operate without interruptions when there is no electricity service, said Hiram Williams-Figueroa, executive director of Somos Solar.
Hogar Cuna San Cristóbal is a nonprofit located in the Rio Cañas Sector in Caguas, and is home to children who have been victims of some form of abuse and, therefore, removed from their homes. The shelter was without power for more than four months Hurricane María hit the island last September, hampering the provision of services to the nearly 30 children housed there and optimal working conditions for its employees.
With an investment that exceeds $45,000, the Somos Solar project involved the installation and commissioning of a solar power system and a 60 kWh Deka Unigy-brand energy storage unit, which allows the shelter to store energy and operate neuralgic areas of their facilities, so that they can provide uninterrupted basic services, even in those times when they lack electricity.
“There are several projects that we have completed to benefit nonprofit entities such schools facing closure, rural media outlets, among others offering direct services to the community and that were severely impacted by Hurricane María,” said Williams.
“But undoubtedly, the Hogar Cuna San Cristóbal project has been very significant, because we know that they do extraordinary work to positively impact the lives of these children,” he said.
The project was made possible due to the contribution of Máximo Solar and EastPenn, a U.S. manufacturer of batteries for solar systems.
“For us at Máximo Solar it is a pleasure to contribute to this project, which positively impacts one of our most vulnerable populations,” said company President Máximo Torres.
“We’re confident that solar energy will contribute to a sustainable operation of Hogar Cuna San Cristóbal and therefore that these children will continue to receive the best services. It’s our reason for being to impact present and future generations with solar energy.”
Solar energy systems such as the one installed at Hogar Cuna San Cristóbal are usually the first step for total divestiture of electricity service, whose cost is extremely burdensome for nonprofit organizations like these.
“Somos Solar has brought us peace of mind that in the future our children will be fine,” said Ivonne Vélez, executive director of Hogar Cuna San Cristóbal.
“Our children are very fearful and exposing them to darkness adds an additional challenge to their treatment plan,” she said. “So this help comes at a crucial time. We’re grateful for their contribution and their sponsors, which will allow us to continue to provide essential services when we don’t have electricity service.”