We’re using solar and storage to build a resilient Puerto Rico. Donate now.
In September 2017, Hurricanes Maria and Irma swept across Puerto Rico, devastating the lives of more than 3 million American citizens. One year later, a new hurricane season is underway, and the need for reliable electricity is greater than ever.
Puerto Rico needs solar and battery storage now to meet urgent short-term needs and build a resilient electricity grid for the future. Together, we can help.
Solar Saves Lives is an initiative led by The Solar Foundation to coordinate the delivery and installation of donated solar and battery storage equipment to areas of urgent need. We are proud to coordinate this initiative with our partners including the Clinton Foundation, Direct Relief, the Hispanic Federation, Operation Blessing International, and local organizations including New Energy Puerto Rico. As we address immediate needs in Puerto Rico, we stand ready to respond to future climate-related disasters happening throughout the world.
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.
Solar and Energy Efficiency Project Begins at Largest Produce Market in Puerto Rico
Solar Saves Lives partners are excited to announce that work has begun on the first phase of the installation of solar and energy efficiency upgrades of the Plaza del Mercado de Río Piedras in San Juan, with installation of LED lighting that is expected to be completed in November 2018. The Hispanic Federation and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy have committed two grants totaling $1.1 million in funding for the project,
The Plaza del Mercado de Río Piedras in San Juan is the largest produce market on the island, responsible for the livelihoods of 200 small business owners. The first phase of this project includes the installation of 700 units of LED lighting in the market. In the coming months, future phases will include the installation of 250 kW of solar panels on the market; a 475 kWh battery to help the market operate in the event of interruptions to the grid; and additional energy efficiency upgrades.
Making Health Centers Resilient Through Solar
Health clinics were hit hard by Hurricane Maria, as the extended power outages compromised their ability to provide care. This was particularly true for clinics in remote areas, which are sometimes the only health care provider for the surrounding population. In partnership with the Asociación de Salud Primaria de Puerto Rico, we 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. To address immediate energy needs and build the long-term resilience of these facilities, we are installing solar systems to cover the critical energy needs of each site. This allows them to restore services and ensure continuity of care into the future, regardless of their access to grid power.
This year, Solar Saves Lives partners have completed the installation of solar and battery storage systems at six health clinics in Puerto Rico. Your generous donations paid for the equipment, shipping, and installation at these clinics. Clean, affordable solar energy will reduce their electricity bills and free up resources for other needs.
Working with our partners and New Energy Puerto Rico, we have completed solar and battery storage installations at the following clinics:
- Migrant Health Center Western Region, Maricao: An 18 kW solar PV system and 40 kWh battery.
- Corporacion de Servicios Medicos Primarios y Prevención de Hatillo, Utuado: A 15.8 kW solar PV system and 20 kWh battery.
- Profamilias Clinica Celestina Zalduondo, San Juan: A 25 kW solar PV system and 40 kWh battery.
- Profamilias Clinica Iella, San Juan: A 19.5 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.
- Centro de Salud Familiar Dr. Julio Palmieri Ferri, Inc., Guayama: A 43.6 kW solar PV system and 40 kWh battery.
In August 2018, the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust announced new funding to support solar and storage installations at six additional medical clinics in Puerto Rico. This generous donation will strengthen and expand our work to deliver solar and battery technologies where they are needed the most.
We’re planning to install solar and storage at many additional health clinics before the end of 2018, and Solar Saves Lives has several other projects underway. Your contribution will help us do more, faster, to bring solar energy to Puerto Rico. Donate now.
Spotlight: Migrant Health Center, Maricao
In March, we completed a solar and storage installation at the Migrant Health Center in Maricao, one of several medical centers in remote areas that is in urgent need of reliable electricity. The Migrant Health Center is a nonprofit committed to providing medical services to everyone regardless of insurance or ability to pay. Solar Saves Lives partners installed 18 kW of solar power and 20 kWh of batteries on this clinic. This was made possible through generous contributions by Soltec, Variety Energy, and New Energy Puerto Rico. Justine Burt of Palo Alto, California and the nonprofit GETCHARGEDUP led a successful crowdfunding effort to support this project.
With this installation, the only clinic in this remote region is now energy independent and more resilient. Watch our video below to learn more about the Migrant Health Center installation.
Where Will My Donation Go?
Contributions are tax-deductible and are welcome from individuals and corporate entities, large and small. Your contributions will fund the purchase of solar and battery storage equipment, pay for shipping, and hire qualified solar installers. We are working closely with local solar companies in Puerto Rico to ensure proper installation and service so these systems will last well beyond the next storm.
Since last year, 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 and we can help find an approach that works for you.
Donations are being collected by The Solar Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Your monetary contributions will go directly to these solar and battery storage installations, minus a small administrative fee of 5 percent.
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.
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.
Spotlight: Energise Puerto Rico
The Solar Foundation is proud to announce a partnership 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.
After Hurricane Maria knocked out power to 95% of Puerto Rico in September 2017, we learned that 98% of their electricity was generated by burning fossil fuels. It seemed like solar photovoltaics would be a much better option for this sunny island, so we decided to raise money for a solar emergency microgrid for a small medical clinic. As we promoted this fundraising effort to our friends, family and colleagues, we found 120 of them had been wanting to do something to help Puerto Rico as well. We are so grateful for the great work the Solar Foundation, New Energy, Direct Relief, and Operation Blessing have done to make this important project to happen. —Justine Burt and Chris Cocca, Palo Alto, California
We are honored to partner with The Solar Foundation and rise to the occasion to bring sunshine to our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico. Our upcoming RISE + SHINE Festivals and our #EmergencyPower initiative will dedicate proceeds to the Solar Saves Lives program to make clinics on the island more resilient and better prepared when everything else fails. — Faisal El Azzouzi, Founder @ GETCHARGEDUP
With battery storage, solar power is the resilient, low-cost energy solution of the future. Alongside Solar Saves Lives, Sunrun is proud to provide the immediate relief of clean, reliable power that will last for decades to come. — Lynn Jurich, co-founder and CEO, Sunrun
We are calling on our members to do their part to help turn the lights on after the hurricanes. Together, we will restore electricity in critical locations while helping upgrade the grid with distributed energy and solar + storage technologies. — Tom Tansy, Chairman, SunSpec Alliance
Carolina Solar is excited to help Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands rebuild critical electric services with solar and distributed generation. The contributions made through Solar Saves Lives will help use local energy resources to build a resilient electric grid. — Richard Harkrader, CEO, Carolina Solar Energy LLC