Before Puerto Rico had a chance to recover from Hurricane Maria, in 2017, it was rocked by earthquakes and then, in September 2022, the island was struck again – this time by Hurricane Fiona. These disasters severely impacted Puerto Rico’s infamously fragile power grid, but have emboldened local communities to take power into their own hands through solar and battery storage, and increasingly in the form of microgrids. Compelled by catastrophic circumstances, Puerto Rico must now push toward energy resilience and in the process may see itself become a model not just for other islands, but mainland grids as well.
A report published by the Rocky Mountain Institute makes recommendations for rooftop PV in regions affected by high winds. The study draws on the knowledge of structural engineers asked to analyze 25 solar systems across five Caribbean islands after they were hit by major hurricanes in 2017 and last year.
Puerto Rico is requesting ten 20 MW / 20 MWh batteries to be deployed strategically in the country’s power grid. The RFQ notes that sites should be upgradable to 40 MW / 160 MWh.
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