The Puerto Rican Solar Business Accelerator (PRSBA) is a program to support solar workforce development, finance, and microgrid development in Puerto Rico. Led by IREC 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.
Through the program, we’ve formed two working groups on solar finance solutions, bringing together financial institutions, the solar industry, nonprofits, and government officials. We partner with the solar industry on workforce development solutions with a priority on diversity and inclusion. We provide technical assistance to solar businesses and are leading the development of two solar energy microgrid projects.
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 has 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.
The Río Piedras market and our workforce development program were recently featured in the Puerto Rico newspaper El Nuevo Día.
Two Solar Energy Microgrid Projects
PRSBA is supporting the development of two solar energy microgrid projects in collaboration with local communities.
IREC has selected Maricao as the next community to develop a solar energy microgrid. One of the smallest municipalities in Puerto Rico, Maricao competed with 12 communities for the microgrid project, which will include approximately 75 kW in solar photovoltaic installations. The project will be located in the town center and benefit diverse community facilities including health care providers, banks, and other businesses that provide service to a population of about 5,430, creating a reliable and zero-emission energy system in an area that experiences daily power outages.
IREC will lead the support for Maricao in all phases of the microgrid project, with engineering and technical support from the University of Puerto Rico—Mayagüez and in partnership with a local 501 (c) (3) nonprofit, the Monte Azul Foundation.
In partnership with the Cooperativa Hidroeléctrica de Montaña, IREC will support a solar energy microgrid project will be located in the rural community of Castañer, located in the Cordillera Central in Puerto Rico. This community experienced more than six months of without electricity following Hurricane Maria in 2017. More than three years later, it continues to face many challenges due to a fragile, insecure, and intermittent electrical system.
This microgrid will provide solar PV and energy storage that will power essential community services and allow for enhanced resilience in the face of natural disasters. We hope this project will serve as a model for other community resilience initiatives in Puerto Rico and throughout the United States.
Our Program Areas
Solar Workforce Development
Solar Finance Innovation
Business Technical Assistance
IREC builds the foundation for rapid adoption of clean energy and energy efficiency to benefit people, the economy, and our planet. For nearly 40 years, IREC has made clean energy possible for millions of Americans through cutting-edge solutions that advance renewable energy, grid modernization, and energy efficiency. Today, our work continues in response to the urgent need to transition to clean energy—to mitigate climate change, improve the resiliency of our communities, and ensure all people benefit from a just transition to a clean energy future.
Pathstone Corporation 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.
Explore Our Work: Solar Saves Lives
The Solar Foundation, now merged with IREC, launched Solar Saves Lives to install solar and storage at community health centers in Puerto Rico.
To get in touch with us about the PRBSA, contact Loramia Jaramillo, Program Manager; or Carlos Alberto Velázquez López, Program Director. Please fill out our contact form and these individuals will get back to you promptly.
Our phone number in San Juan, Puerto Rico is:
The EDA Program Number is #01-79-14864.