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Puerto Rico communities chosen for DOE tech assistance program

Several projects in the Puerto Rican towns of Adjuntas, Jayuya, Lares, Maricao, Utuado and Yauco were chosen to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Communities Local Energy Action Program (LEAP), which is making $18 million available for plans to lower energy bills, develop plans for sustained clean energy and economic empowerment.

The 30 selected applicants will work with DOE and its network of technical assistance providers including local and tribal governments, community-based organizations and utilities, as well as environmental justice, economic development and equitable investment organizations, to develop road maps that utilize clean energy as a tool for economic development.

“Technical assistance is vital to develop resilient sophisticated renewable energy projects that can support the specific needs of low-resourced, vulnerable communities,” said C. P. Smith, executive director at the hydropower co-op Cooperativa Hidroeléctrica de la Montaña in Puerto Rico.

“Yet that very same technical assistance is often out of reach for these low-resourced communities. We’re honored to be selected for the Communities LEAP program to allow our team to leap to the next level of the energy project development process to provide cost-effective and resilient energy from renewable sources to the residents in the Cordillera Central of Puerto Rico,” Smith said.

This is the second cohort of communities selected as part of the program designed to provide disadvantaged communities and those with historical ties to fossil fuel industries with technical assistance to take direct control of their clean energy future.

The communities will pursue areas of interest including, but not limited to: 

  • Clean energy planning and development.
  • Energy efficient buildings and beneficial electrification planning and investment.
  • Clean transportation planning and investment.
  • Carbon capture and storage.
  • Critical minerals resource potential from energy wastes and byproducts. 
  • Community resilience microgrids.
  • New or enhanced manufacturing.
  • Advanced nuclear technology and support for existing reactors. 
  • Puerto Rico community resilience.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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