Among all parts of the United States, Puerto Rico stands out for its unique challenges and almost limitless potential for clean energy growth. We are deeply committed to helping Puerto Rico build the foundation for a clean energy economy and workforce, in collaboration with our local partners.
IREC 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. We advance clean energy solutions including solar energy, battery storage, and microgrids at the individual, business, and community levels.
Puerto Rico enacted a law in 2019 which established the goal to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050. This ambitious objective will require unprecedented growth in all renewables and especially solar, the most abundant renewable energy source in this part of the United States.
Expanding Solar Finance Opportunities
IREC is developing innovative financing options that will make solar and battery storage more widely accessible in Puerto Rico. We work closely with locally chartered credit unions, called cooperativas, to explore financing alternatives for consumers. Learn more in our updated report An Assessment of Barriers and Opportunities to Finance in Puerto Rico: Second Edition.
Building the Clean Energy Workforce
IREC works with training providers, solar energy employers, and community leaders to advance the growth of a highly skilled and diverse workforce. We convened a workshop with diverse industry stakeholders to develop recommendations on Puerto Rico’s solar workforce needs.
Read our report on the workshop below (in Spanish) or contact us to learn more.
Community Microgrid Development
IREC works with local partners on microgrid installations that enhance community resilience using solar and battery storage. These projects are models for scalable clean energy growth in Puerto Rico and other vulnerable parts of the world.
In May 2022, local businesses joined other community members in Castañer, Puerto Rico, to celebrate the first phase of a new solar energy microgrid. This project was developed through a collaborative partnership between IREC, Pathstone Corp., the local nonprofit Cooperativa Hidroeléctrica de Montaña, and the University of Puerto Rico—Mayagüez. Read more below or watch a short video to learn more!
A Community Energy Resilience Plan
In 2023, IREC is continuing its work in Castañer to begin development of an energy resilience plan, with the goal that the community can rapidly recover from the impacts of natural disasters. This project is part of the RACER (Renewables Advancing Community Energy Resilience) program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and includes 20 communities across the United States. IREC is working in partnership with Slipstream Group, Inc. and other collaborators including Luma Energy, La Cooperativa Hidroeléctrica de la Montaña, ACE IOT Solutions, and Texas A&M University.
Gender Equality: A Case Study at Puerto Rico’s Río Piedras Market
The future of Puerto Rico’s solar industry will depend on the strength and diversity of its workforce. At the Plaza del Mercado de Río Piedras in San Juan, IREC partnered with the Hispanic Federation to install a 250 kW solar energy system on the rooftop. IREC worked with the installer, NEO ERA Energy Solutions, to prioritize the hiring of a diverse workforce that includes women and the LGBTQ+ community.
Ada Ramona Miranda, one of the solar workers at the market, hopes her own experience can help reduce barriers for more women to work in clean energy. “At every moment I thank all the women who’ve opened doors for us, because we aren’t the first ones here,” she said.
A Campaign for Solar Consumers
Since Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico has seen a dramatic increase in consumer interest in solar energy. To educate and empower these consumers, IREC in partnership with the Institute for Building Technology and Safety (IBTS) and the Puerto Rico Independent Office of Consumer Protection (OIPC) have launched an informational campaign for those who are considering solar energy installations for their homes or businesses.
The campaign will include three short videos. The first, “Cómo seleccionar un sistema fotovoltaico para su negocio” (How to select a solar photovoltaic system for your business), describes the recommended steps for installing solar energy at small and medium-sized businesses.