We are sending solar technology to hurricane-devastated areas. Donate now.
In September 2017, Hurricanes Maria and Irma swept across Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, devastating the lives of 3.5 million American citizens. Nearly a year later, the islands still remain in urgent need of a reliable and resilient electricity grid, even as another hurricane season begins.
Solar and battery storage can help address immediate, short-term needs while building a more resilient electricity grid for the future. Puerto Rico needs solar energy now. Together, we can help.
Solar Saves Lives is an initiative led by The Solar Foundation to coordinate the delivery and installation of donated solar equipment to areas in need. We are proud to coordinate this initiative with our partners including the Clinton Foundation, Direct Relief, the Hispanic Federation, Operation Blessing International, and 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 fund solar and battery installations at critical locations in Puerto Rico. From the solar industry, we are also seeking product donations to reduce the cost of these solar and battery systems.
NEW: Grant from the Helmsley Charitable Trust to Support Health Clinics
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. Learn more.
Spotlight: Our Partnership With 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.
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.
Spotlight: The Migrant Health Center
In March, we completed a solar and storage installation at the Migrant Health Center, one of several medical centers in remote areas that is in urgent need of reliable electricity. Located in Maricao, Puerto Rico, the Migrant Health Center is a nonprofit committed to providing medical services to everyone regardless of insurance or ability to pay. Thanks to Solar Saves Lives partners and generous contributions by New Energy, Soltec, SunPower, and Variety Energy, as well as all the donors who participated in the crowdfunding efforts led by Justine Burt and GETCHARGEDUP, the health center received 18 kW of solar power and 20 kWh of batteries.
With this installation, the only clinic in this remote region is now energy independent and more resilient. Solar installations at several other health centers in Puerto Rico have been completed or will soon be underway. Watch our video below to learn more about the Migrant Health Center installation.
Monetary Donations to Solar Saves Lives
Contributions are tax-deductible and are welcome from individuals and corporate entities, large and small. You can make a huge difference by committing to a corporate matching campaign or employee giving campaign. We can help you create a campaign that works for you. We also encourage you to host a fundraiser to support this initiative.
Items we are seeking most urgently include:
- 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
To make a product donation, contact The Solar Foundation and we will get back to you promptly.
Where Will My Donation Go?
Monetary donations will help us purchase solar equipment, pay for shipping, and hire qualified solar installers. We are coordinating with installers on the ground, including our local partner New Energy and others, to ensure proper installation and service so that these systems will last through the next storm.
Donations are tax-deductible and are being collected by The Solar Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Your monetary contributions will go directly to the relief effort, minus a small administrative fee of 5 percent.
Why Solar Saves Lives?
Solar Saves Lives is uniting solar companies and leading relief organizations to deliver supplies where they are needed the most. Leading this unique effort is The Solar Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that is bringing the solar industry together in a coordinated response to the hurricanes. Building on the work that the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and individual solar companies have already done, we are proud to lead this initiative and expand the network of organizations involved in the relief efforts.
This effort is part of The Solar Foundation’s larger initiative to respond to emergencies and promote solar-resilient communities, harnessing the power of solar and solar+storage technologies. Learn more about The Solar Foundation.
“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
“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