The University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez and Ahkeo Holdings LLC, a Puerto Rico based conglomerate focused on renewable energy solutions, recently partnered to establish the island’s first Microgrid Power System Laboratory to develop electrical redistribution options that can either run independently of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority and within the network connection, if necessary.
Starting with locally based technologies, the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the parties also seeks to use an array of renewable energy options that cause less environmental impact.
For the University, this agreement represents the “ideal model of collaboration between the industry and academia in order to explore energy solutions for the benefit of citizens and the environment.”
“We are pleased to announce this initiative that supports our efforts about energy efficiency. The MOU is part of UPR’s ambitious plan to reduce its energy consumption. In fact, efficiency reduces operating costs and exposure to market volatility, which contributes to the financial strength of the University,” said UPR President Uroyoán R. Walker-Ramos.
Meanwhile, UPR-Mayagüez Chancellor, John Fernández-Van Cleve, stressed the importance to develop novel options to get responses for island’s problems.
“The University is home to innovation and is an essential component of our educational mission to generate technologies to move the Island towards a positive transformation. We want to be instruments of change and we can pursue that with our Research and Development know how and the support of companies such as Ahkeo,” he said.
Ahkeo Holding LLC, is an organization that recently established operations in Puerto Rico and has multiple worldwide patent pending technologies in the renewable energy field.
“Ahkeo understands and has many years of direct experience cultivating the minds of talented young people. We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to partner with many of the amazing universities that are here in Puerto Rico,” said Matthew Klentzman, Ahkeo’s director of research and development.
“One of our prime directives is to provide direct partnership and creative employment opportunities to these students while connecting their projects and ideas with our vast network of entrepreneurs around the world. We are building a revolution of new products and ideas from the motivated minds of some of the brightest young people that Puerto Rico has in abundance,” he said.
Klentzman added that the company is working to connect the students, faculty and business leaders directly with local and international entrepreneurs “who can and will help foster their projects and walk hand in hand with them into open markets around the world. This is our passion and we are committed to insuring that these initiatives are successful.”
The partnership is expected to provide the students the opportunities to get in touch with new technologies, school officials said.
“We have found an interesting convergence between the strengths of UPR Mayagüez, in particular our School of Engineering, and the vision of Ahkeo Holdings to develop energy efficient technologies in Puerto Rico,” said Agustín Rullán, dean of the School of Engineering.
“This has excellent potential to benefit the university, by assisting us in developing state of the art laboratories and demonstration projects, our students by providing opportunities to gain expertise in important technologies and employment on the island, and the company by gaining access to the human resources and research and development facilities to carry out their vision in Puerto Rico,” he added.