Nonprofit organizations Resilient Power Puerto Rico and Para la Naturaleza have joined forces to help expedite recovery efforts in communities still struggling with the long-term impacts of hurricanes Irma and María in Puerto Rico.
The two organizations will collaborate to equip an initial 30 community centers with solar microgrids and rain catchment and filtration systems, they confirmed.
The community centers are located in Para la Naturaleza partner communities throughout Puerto Rico and these donations will benefit thousands of people served by the recipient organizations.
Five of the 30 sites are sponsored by the PRxPR Fund who has donated $125,000 to the effort.
“These communities will be transformed into resilient centers with their own energy and potable water resources that will allow them to respond faster to their basic needs in case of future emergencies,” said Fernando Lloveras-San Miguel, president of Para la Naturaleza.
Resilient Power Puerto Rico has launched an ambitious initiative to install 5kW to 10kW solar microgrids in high-impact sites across the islands. The nonprofit has been working with local electrical engineers and solar system installers to include power storage capacity along with newly installed solar panels.
Such systems accumulate enough charge to power lights, fans, pumps, refrigeration, and effectively allow community centers to operate off-grid. This is in line with Resilient Power Puerto Rico’s long term goals of building communities with energy resiliency.
“We have an opportunity to make a significant humanitarian impact while also shifting the paradigm on how energy is delivered and consumed on the island,” said Jonathan Marvel, who was recently appointed to the Resilient Puerto Rico Advisory Commission, and whose architectural firm serves as the hub of the nonprofit’s operations.
“Para la Naturaleza has been working with underserved communities in Puerto Rico for many years, they know the island and can help us achieve long-term success,” he said.
While communities are responsible for the care and maintenance of the technology, Para la Naturaleza has also been able to provide appropriate training to community leaders, so they can perform maintenance and help with installation in the case of future storms.