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UPR-Utuado campus goes ‘green’ with $100K solar energy investment

Yanaira Vasquez, dean of the UPR Utuado and Luis Bernal, executive director of the Puerto Rico Energy Affairs Administration inspect the solar panel project.

The University of Puerto Rico’s Utuado campus stands to shave $6,500 off its annual electricity bill as a result of the solar panels recently installed atop its library building. The academic institution received funding from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act assigned for renewable energy projects to install the green technology.

“The investment we have made in the UPR system has been very important in our pursuit to modernize its buildings and achieve energy savings,” said Luis Bernal, executive director of the Puerto Rico Energy Affairs Administration Wednesday, when he joined university officials to unveil the project. Today, we are facilitating the goals of our mountain campus to obtain energy from the sun.”

In total, the UPR has installed solar photovoltaic panels at 11 of its campuses, as well as the Adjuntas Agricultural Research Station. The UPR project entailed a $100,000 investment.

Meanwhile, Yanaira Vasquez, dean of the UPR Utuado campus, said harnessing solar energy to reduce electricity costs is in line with the institution’s goal of reducing harmful carbon emissions.

“We are an agricultural campus that loves soil and land. Green energy is part of our economic development, the sustainability of our island. In Utuado, we´ll give way to its development, and to educating our community on the importance of projects like the one we are announcing today,” said Vasquez.

To continue promoting energy efficiency in public and private organizations, the Government of Puerto Rico, headed by the EAA, created the “Green Energy” Fund, through which Puerto Rico is investing $290 million to support green energy projects launched by universities, businesses, residences, organizations, and government entities. Project proponents may apply for a 50 percent reimbursement on their renewable energy ventures.

“The Green Energy Fund represents another opportunity for this and other sectors to continue transforming its operations through energy efficiency and renewable energy,” Bernal said. “We are committed to pushing forward a green economy that stimulates economic development, frees us from oil dependency, and enables job creation.”

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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