Nonprofits seek to develop 2 solar microgrid prototypes in remote communities
Looking to build two prototypes of solar microgrids that “strengthen and transform the energy system of remote and vulnerable communities,” nonprofit organizations PathStone Corp., The Solar Foundation and the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, will present on June 30 and July 2, at 2 p.m., a series of webinars on the program.
Microgrids are distributed energy sources that include solar energy systems and energy storage, in addition to interconnected loads that integrate an energy infrastructure, which can operate in parallel with the main network, off-grid or in island mode.
“With Hurricanes Irma and María, it was demonstrated that Puerto Rico, and especially the most remote communities, need to strengthen the energy system to avoid a collapse in service, as it happened for more than six months in 2017,” said Javier Zapata Rodríguez, director of PathStone Enterprise Center.
“We want to provide the opportunity to communities throughout the island to benefit from a resilient, cost effective and renewable energy system based on the microgrid model through this meeting of virtual talks and presentations,” he said.
Community leaders interested in participating in the webinar on “Community Microgrids” on June 30, at 2:00 p.m. can register here. To participate in the webinar on “Pilot Projects of Microgrids,” on July 2, 2 p.m. can register here. Those interested can also visit the website.
During the webinar, the process to be used for the evaluation and selection of the communities that will form part of the construction of the two energy microgrids will be presented.
The microgrid program is supported by the U.S. Economic Development Administration and seeks to promote community participation and develop a sustainable financing model through the participation of Puerto Rico social impact cooperatives and investors.
The communities will lead the project. Meanwhile, the design and construction will have with the support of Puerto Rican solar companies, experts in the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus’ Microgrids Laboratory, the backing of organizations with a presence in the communities of Puerto Rico such as OXFAM.
The Microgrid Program is one of the components of the Puerto Rico Solar Business Accelerator managed by The Solar Foundation and PathStone Corp. Other initiatives include the development of sustainable solar financing models, solar consumer protection and solar job training.