Puerto Rico Community Foundation is getting a $4.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to install a 100% renewable energy system to support businesses in the municipality of Culebra.
The project, to be located in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone, will be matched with $1 million in local funds, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross said.
“The Trump Administration is committed to helping rebuild communities and businesses in Puerto Rico following the 2017 hurricanes,” said Ross.
“The new renewable energy system will ensure that businesses in Culebra have the energy capacity to meet current needs and withstand future storms. The location of the project in a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Opportunity Zone will also help attract additional investment through special tax incentives,” he said.
Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner in Washington Jenniffer González said the nonprofit’s project “is vital to the particular challenges that Culebra faces. I appreciate President Trump and Secretary Wilbur Ross’ vision and commitment to support this project as an alternative for sustainability in Culebra as well as work in the economic development of the island.”
This project will develop solar power capability for the island of Culebra, creating a more robust and resilient energy system. That is expected to lower the cost of doing business and provide consistent power in the event of another major hurricane. The solar panels will be installed in a way that will withstand future natural disasters, the nonprofit said.
This project is funded under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, in which Congress appropriated to the U.S. Department of Commerce $600 million in additional Economic Adjustment Assistance program funds for disaster relief and recovery as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and María, wildfires and other calendar year 2017 natural disasters under the Stafford Act.
The funding announced goes to a Tax Cuts and Jobs Act designated Opportunity Zone, which provides special incentives for further private sector participation and development.