Solar Saves Lives

The Solar Foundation, now merged with IREC, led the Solar Saves Lives program to help rebuild Puerto Rico using solar and storage.

Puerto Rico is rebuilding from the devastation of Hurricanes Maria and Irma, which left millions of people without power. Nearly four years later, the need for reliable electricity is greater than ever.

Solar energy and battery storage is helping to meet these energy needs and build a stronger, more resilient Puerto Rico.

Solar Saves Lives was an initiative to install solar and battery storage at health clinics, community centers, and other critical locations in Puerto Rico. The initiative was led by The Solar Foundation, which has now merged with IREC. We were proud to coordinate this effort with our partners including the Hispanic Federation, Direct Relief, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Clinton Foundation, and local solar companies and organizations in Puerto Rico.

The hurricanes struck Puerto Rico in 2017, but the recovery is ongoing. IREC is committed to being a part of this recovery, and we stand ready to respond to other disasters throughout the world as we face the impacts of climate change.

Program Status: All our pending solar energy installations at Puerto Rico health clinics have been completed! We remain engaged on the island through the Puerto Rican Solar Business Accelerator, a program to catalyze solar industry expansion and workforce development. We’re also continuing to seek opportunities to develop solar and storage at clinics and other vital community centers in Puerto Rico. If you would like to make a general contribution to support IREC’s work in Puerto Rico and other programs to accelerate clean energy growth, make a tax-deductible donation here

Making Health Centers Resilient Through Solar

The hurricanes cut off electricity and disrupted access to health care for millions of people. For the future, it will be absolutely critical to ensure that health centers continue to serve their patients even if the power grid goes down.

Solar Saves Lives partners helped meet this need by installing solar and battery systems at community health clinics throughout Puerto Rico. 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.

These installations took place in partnership with the Asociación de Salud Primaria de Puerto Rico, with installation by local solar installers and project management by the Clinton Climate Initiative. Funding came from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, Direct Relief, Hispanic Federation, and individual contributions from the public.

Other Completed Solar Installations

Additional clinics where our partners have completed installations include the following solar and battery storage projects. These installations were funded by Direct Relief.

San Juan — Profamilias Clinica Celestina Zalduondo: A 25 kW solar PV system and 40 kWh battery. 

Las Marías — Migrant Health Center Western Region: A 34.7 kW solar PV system and 40 kWh battery. 

Utuado — Corporacion de Servicios Medicos Primarios y Prevención de Hatillo: A 15.8 kW solar PV system and 20 kWh battery. 

San Juan — Profamilias Clinica Iella: A 19.5 kW solar PV system and 40 kWh battery. 

Guayama — Centro de Salud Familiar Dr. Julio Palmieri Ferri, Inc.: A 43.6 kW solar PV system and 40 kWh battery. 

Building Puerto Rico’s Solar Workforce

Solar energy is expanding rapidly in Puerto Rico, opening up a need for more solar workers. IREC leads the Puerto Rican Solar Business Accelerator in partnership with Pathstone Corporation, Inc. This program will expand and strengthen the Puerto Rican solar industry, propose innovative solar financing options, and spur the development of a highly qualified workforce. The team will also develop two solar and storage microgrid development pilots.

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