We’re using solar energy and storage to build a resilient Puerto Rico, powered by the sun. 

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Puerto Rico is rebuilding from the devastation of Hurricanes Maria and Irma, which left millions of people without power. With the next hurricane season approaching, the need for reliable electricity is greater than ever.

Solar energy and battery storage will help meet these energy needs and build a stronger, more resilient Puerto Rico.

Solar Saves Lives is an initiative led by The Solar Foundation to install solar and battery storage at health clinics, community centers, and other critical locations in Puerto Rico. We are proud to coordinate this effort with our partners including the Clinton Foundation, Direct Relief, the Hispanic Federation, and local solar companies and organizations in Puerto Rico.

The hurricanes struck more than a year ago, but the recovery will take place over many years. We are committed to being a part of this recovery in Puerto Rico, and we stand ready to respond to other disasters throughout the world as we face the impacts of climate change.

We need your help today through monetary donations, large and small, to benefit health clinics, community centers, and other critical priorities in Puerto Rico. From the solar industry, we are also seeking product donations to support these solar and storage installations.

Bringing Solar and Storage to Puerto Rico’s Largest Produce Market 

Work is now underway to install solar and storage at the Plaza del Mercado de Río Piedras in San Juan. The Río Piedras market is the largest produce market on the island, providing food security to the community and supporting the livelihoods of 200 small business owners.

Left without electricity for weeks after the hurricane, the market remains highly vulnerable to power outages. To support the community and help build resilience, Solar Saves Lives partners are undertaking a large-scale solar energy and battery storage project on the rooftop.

Installation has now commenced on the first phase of the project, which includes 250 kW of solar panels on the market, or about 800 panels. A 475 kWh battery will allow the market to keep operating when there are interruptions to the grid. This first phase also includes the installation of more 700 units of LED lighting.

Solar Saves Lives partners are honored to take part in this installation, which is a priority for San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto. The Hispanic Federation and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) have committed two grants totaling $1.1 million in funding for the project, which is project managed by the Clinton Foundation.

Learn More:

“El Sol energizará la Plaza del Mercado en Río Piedras,” Primera Hora, April 29, 2019
“Inicia instalación de placas solares en la Plaza del Mercado,” El Vocero, Jan. 29, 2019
A Report On the Ground in Puerto Rico,” Center for Disaster Philanthropy, Feb. 20, 2019

Solar Workforce Training Begins in San Juan!

Solar energy is expanding rapidly in Puerto Rico, opening up a need for more solar workers. The Solar Foundation is leading a solar training program with funding from CDP and in partnership with the municipality of San Juan and the Asociación de Contratistas y Consultores de Energía Renovable de Puerto Rico (ACONER). The program will provide up to 50 trainees with 16 hours of classroom training and four hours of hands-on lab training, including a technical site tour of the solar and storage installation at Río Piedras.

Making Health Centers Resilient Through Solar

Solar Saves Lives partners are installing solar and battery systems on health clinics throughout Puerto Rico, ensuring they will continue meeting critical needs even when the power grid goes down. These health centers are part of the Puerto Rico Primary Care Association Network, a nonprofit system of health centers that are dedicated to providing services to those without insurance or ability to pay. Many of these clinics are in remote areas and are the only source of health care for the surrounding population.

We have completed the installation of solar and battery storage systems at six health clinics to date. Five other clinics are under construction, and at least five others are scheduled for completion this year. Your generous donations helped pay for the equipment, shipping, and installation. Clean, affordable solar energy will reduce their electricity bills and free up resources for other needs.

These installations are taking place in partnership with the Asociación de Salud Primaria de Puerto Rico, installation by local solar installers, and project management by the Clinton Climate Initiative. Funding comes from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, Direct Relief, Hispanic Federation, and individual contributions from the public. Donate now to help install solar and storage at life-saving clinics in Puerto Rico. 

Other clinics where we have completed installations include:

Profamilias Clinica Celestina Zalduondo, San Juan: A 25 kW solar PV system and 40 kWh battery.
Migrant Health Center Western Region, Las Marías: A 34.7 kW solar PV system and 40 kWh battery.

Mapping Our Progress

Our partners at Direct Relief created this interactive map of completed and pending solar and storage projects in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria. Check out the map to find all the health clinics where Solar Saves Projects are underway!

Where Will My Donation Go?

Contributions are tax-deductible and are welcome from individuals, businesses, and nonprofit organizations large and small. Your contributions will fund the purchase of solar and battery storage equipment, pay for shipping, hire qualified solar installers, and cover other important programmatic costs. We work with a carefully vetted selection of local solar companies in Puerto Rico to ensure proper installation and service so these systems will last well beyond the next storm.

Many individuals have been inspired to launch fundraising events and online giving campaigns to provide a lump sum donation to Solar Saves Lives. Companies can also launch a corporate matching campaign or employee giving campaign. If you think your community or company might be interested, contact us today.

Donations are being collected by The Solar Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Solar Saves Lives is part of The Solar Foundation’s larger initiative to build resilient communities, harnessing the power of solar and solar + storage technologies. Learn more about The Solar Foundation.

Special thanks to supporters in Connecticut who held an amazing fundraiser in November 2018 that raised over $7,000 to support an upcoming installation at a health clinic in Orocovis, Puerto Rico! Organizers included the ICC Environmental Action Committee, the Interreligious Eco Justice Network, The Green Bank, Solar for All, Hoffman Auto Group, CT Puerto Rican Agenda, and Claro Inc.

Product Donations

We welcome product donations of solar and storage equipment, including:

  • Portable solar equipment, such as lanterns and cell chargers.
  • Containerized or cabinetized generators, such as solar refrigeration units, solar pumping units, and solar water purification units.
  • Components for system installations including modules, inverters, battery banks, and charge controllers.
  • Any other solar and storage equipment you are able to provide.

If your company might be interested in making a product donation, contact The Solar Foundation and we will get back to you promptly to discuss how your donation might fit our needs.

Thanks to Our Supporters

Solar Saves Lives thanks the supporting organizations and individuals who are expanding and deepening the impact of our work in Puerto Rico. Solar Saves Lives supporters include:

EnergyBin, a wholesale solar B2B exchange. EnergyBin is offering a one-month complimentary membership to both members and non-members that donate to Solar Saves Lives. EnergyBin will donate 10% of any new paying membership that is referred by The Solar Foundation. Contact us for more information.

The Solar Foundation is proud to partner with Energise Puerto Rico to deliver portable power stations to first-response teams and high-risk families in low-income barrios and mountain regions. Each power station bundle will consist of a high-capacity portable battery and mobile solar panel. Visit Energise Puerto Rico to learn more or donate directly to this project.