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U.S. Energy Secretary visits Culebra community-based solar energy project

U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm visited one of 45 residences that have solar and battery storage systems in the island municipality of Culebra in Puerto Rico.

These systems were installed as part of a community-based clean energy project by Environmental Defense Fund and Fundación Colibrí to support Puerto Rico in its energy transformation, including compliance with the objectives of the Energy Public Policy Act that require the island to source 100% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2050.

Her visit to Culebra is part of PR100 Community Participation Tour that seeks to gather reactions from residents about the need to modernize Puerto Rico’s electricity grid and complement the PR100, a 2-year study by the DOE’s Grid Deployment Office and six national laboratories to evaluate stakeholder-driven way to bring clean energy to Puerto Rico.

After Hurricanes Irma and María in 2017, Culebra’s 1,700 residents waited 13 months for full electric service to be restored. Hurricane Fiona in 2022 also brought blackouts to the island, but several residences were able to ride the storm with electric service.

“Secretary Granholm’s leadership puts Puerto Rico on a path to a clean energy future with clear steps to follow for the disbursement of federal funds to support community-based solar projects that can mitigate climate change,” said Daniel Whittle, senior director, Caribbean at Environmental Defense Fund.

“Environmental Defense Fund’s residential solar project in Culebra, which entailed a vital element of community participation and feedback, serves as a model for other groups and populations interested in moving from reliance on fossil fuels to clean, reliable and affordable energy systems,” he said.

Environmental Defense Fund seeks to identify effective and equitable energy solutions that can bring clean, community-centered electricity to Puerto Rico and can meet the daily needs of its residents, while making the island more resilient to climate change,

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

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