Helping Puerto Rico’s Solar Industry Grow

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The Puerto Rican Solar Business Accelerator (PRSBA) is a program to support solar workforce development, finance, and microgrid development in Puerto Rico. Led by The Solar Foundation in partnership with Pathstone Corporation, Inc., it will expand and strengthen the Puerto Rican solar industry and spur the development of a highly qualified workforce. 

This program is bringing together businesses, community members, other nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, and solar energy advocates to transform Puerto Rico’s energy system, working together to achieve a renewable and sustainable future.

Puerto Rico’s Energy Public Policy Act, approved in 2019, established a 100% renewable energy goal by 2050. This ambitious target will require unprecedented growth for all renewable energies, but especially solar, the most abundant renewable source in this U.S. territory. To help realize this vision, PathStone and The Solar Foundation, two nonprofit organizations with a strong record of accomplishments in clean energy and workforce development, joined forces to develop the PRSBA.

The program includes the following components: 

Solar Workforce Development.  The PRSBA will identify the solar industry’s workforce needs under current and future scenarios. We provide on-the-job training and identify gaps between the technical studies curriculum and the industry’s needs. We also offer assistance to individuals interested in joining the solar industry in a technical occupation, such as solar installer or construction worker.

Expanding Finance Options. For the solar industry, having the proper financing options is as important as having the best technology and workforce. For this reason, the PRSBA will assess the current financing scenarios for both solar businesses and their clients. Our aim is to identify and propose new financing options that are more affordable with fewer barriers to entry.

Solar Business Technical Assistance. We provide technical and capital assistance to local solar companies, helping them obtain reconstruction and energy resilience funds allocated to Puerto Rico. We also provide administrative and sales technical support in areas such as permitting and inspection, business plans, PREPA portal orientation, and sales and marketing.

Two Microgrid Pilot Projects. Two Puerto Rico communities will develop microgrid pilot projects with the assistance of our partners from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez campus. The communities will define the projects, actively participate in the design and contractor hiring, and select the model of operation and administration of the microgrids.

The PRSBA is led by The Solar Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing the use of solar and solar-compatible technologies worldwide; and Pathstone Corporation, Inc., a private, not-for-profit community development and human services organization.

Partner organizations include Oxfam; the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez; and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). Learn more about our partner organizations.

Need to reach us? Find our contact information here.

New Report: Puerto Rico Solar Jobs In 2050

This white paper provides actionable numbers on the economic and social benefits that Puerto Rico can expect as it moves toward a 100% renewable energy future. We estimate that meeting this goal will lead to nearly 20,000 solar jobs in Puerto Rico by 2030, compared to roughly 2,000 jobs today. 

Solar Workforce Development

Puerto Rico’s solar and construction industries need the best human capital to reach their full potential. The PRSBA’s workforce development component is built on years of leadership and expertise at The Solar Foundation, Pathstone, and other PRSBA partners. The PRSBA is focused on increasing economic resiliency in Puerto Rico through training and technical assistance for locally owned and operated businesses, and preparing the local labor force for solar and construction jobs in the current and future economy.

Upcoming opportunity: Pathstone’s Training and Employment Program will offer free courses on the construction and installation of solar panels to 105 trainees who live in any Puerto Rico municipality, including Vieques and Culebra. These courses will lead to a technical certificate as an assistant in solar system installation and general construction. For more information on obtaining certification, contact Pathstone at (787)-214-1700 or (787)-608-7283.

If you are interested in more information about our workforce development services for you or your staff, please complete this form to receive a complete orientation.

Solar Finance

Providing the optimal financing options is crucial for the solar industry’s growth. The PRSBA aims to work closely with the financial industry, solar companies, and government officials to propose the most beneficial and optimal financial products. Contact us if your financial institution offers solar loans and would like to be included on our referral list.

Solar Business Technical Assistance

The PRSBA offers technical assistance to help solar companies succeed. Areas of assistance include: 1) Marketing and sales;  2) Permitting and inspection support;  3) Personnel training and certifications;  4) Follow up with clients providing maintenance and warranty support; 5) Financing options for end-use clients; 6) Financing options for solar developments;  7) Refining business plans; 8) Proposals and bids for projects; 9) Operating loans; 10) Finding a qualified workforce for your company.

Technical Assistance Request Form

Ready to get your solar business to the next level, but still navigating technical and administrative challenges?

Let us help you. Please complete the technical assistance request form to start the improvement process that will help you achieve your goals, or contact us for more information.

Two Microgrid Pilot Projects

The PRSBA includes two community microgrid projects, which will support local resilience in areas that are especially vulnerable to the impacts of natural disasters. Microgrids use solar energy and battery storage to provide a sustainable, local electricity source independent of the power grid. These upcoming projects aim to serve as models for designing, installing, and managing microgrids in Puerto Rico. Technical and administrative assistance will be provided by The Solar Foundation, along with the Microgrid Laboratory at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez.

The PRSBA team is now selecting communities to participate in this program. Our targets include communities where electricity was cut off after Hurricanes Maria and Irma and reestablished after June 2018. We are interested in talking with community organizations, mayors, and local leaders to present our ideas, understand your needs, and explore ways to collaborate. Puerto Rico communities are encouraged to visit the Spanish language website for more information and frequently asked questions on microgrid projects.

If you would like to get involved, consult this fact sheet for more information or contact us to learn more. 

Lead Organizations

The Solar Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing the use of solar and solar-compatible technologies worldwide. With our authoritative research and on-the-ground education, our mission is to accelerate adoption of the world’s most abundant energy source. In Puerto Rico, since Hurricanes Maria and Irma, we have led groundbreaking programs to help install solar and storage in places where it’s needed the most, while supporting the development of a robust solar industry and workforce. Learn more about The Solar Foundation.

Pathstone is a private, not-for-profit community development and human services organization dedicated to eliminating poverty and strengthening families and individuals in the communities we have been serving since 1969. Low-income families and economically distressed communities throughout New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, Indiana, Virginia, Vermont, and Puerto Rico are the primary beneficiaries of its services and resources. This organization delivers quality career and employment services that enhance the skills, performance and potential of individuals, leading to meaningful employment in desired career pathways. Learn more at Pathstone.Org.

Partner Organizations

Oxfam is a global movement of people, working together to end the injustice of poverty. That means we tackle the inequality that keeps people poor. Together, we save, protect and rebuild lives when disaster strikes. We help people build better lives for themselves, and for others. We take on issues like land rights, climate change and discrimination against women. And we won’t stop until every person on the planet can enjoy life free from poverty. Learn more. 

University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez. The Sustainability Energy Center (SEC) of the University of Puerto Rico in Mayagüez (UPRM) developed a Microgrid lab AC test bench that will allow students and the community to have a broader understanding of the use of renewable energy sources. The Microgrid lab can assist communities in understanding system transformations characterized by new integrations of solar equipment, storage systems, and interconnection to the electrical grid. Learn more.

The New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and support to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. A public benefit corporation, NYSERDA has been advancing energy solutions and working to protect the environment since 1975. Learn More.

Contact Us

To get in touch with us about the PRBSA, contact Loramia Jaramillo, Program Manager at the Solar Foundation, at Ljaramillo@solarfound.org; or Carlos Alberto Velázquez López, Program Director at The Solar Foundation, at cvelazquez@solarfound.org. The program address and phone number is:

#1404 Salvador Pratts St

San Juan, PR 00906, US

787-923-1304 

The EDA Program Number is #01-79-14864.