In September 2017, Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit Puerto Rico one after the other, devastating the island and leaving 3.4 million residents without power. Months after these hurricanes, many Puerto Ricans still lack basic electricity access. Those living in remote sections of the island have been especially hit hard.
Much of the U.S. solar community has joined forces and are working together to provide power to those in Puerto Rico. So far 50,000 small solar-and-battery kits have been installed throughout the island in the first five months of 2018, thanks to Solar for Puerto Rico, an organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of those on the island. These systems help provide electricity and support critical nighttime lighting, cell phone charging, radios, fans, and other devices.
Tabuchi Electric, a hybrid solar-plus-storage manufacturer, is also donating ten Eco Intelligent Battery Systems (EIBS) to various organizations working in communities throughout Puerto Rico, such medical clinics, schools, and other small businesses. EIBS provide a stable and efficient source of electricity and energy security during power outages.
“While I was in Puerto Rico, I visited two sites where our products are or will be donated through the organization, Solar for Puerto Rico,” shared Kristina K. Arden-Wen, Marketing Coordinator with Tabuchi Electric. “Two volunteers from the organization, Gil Laboy (born in Puerto Rico, residing in Missouri) and Alex Cohen accompanied me to Arroyo, PR and Patillas, PR.”
According to Arden-Wen, both locations are health clinics and EIBS is serving as a backup power source for refrigerators that are keeping important vaccines cold. The clinics are currently powered by generators from FEMA.
The first clinic Arden-Wen visited was Centro de Salud Familiar Dr. Julio Palmieri Ferri, Inc. in Arroyo, Puerto Rico. Tabuchi Electric provided EIBS with one 10-kWh lithium-ion storage battery. A dozen solar panels have been installed as part of the system that will serve as a backup power source for the clinic’s refrigerators.
The second clinic was Centro de Servicios Primarios de Salud de Patillas, where 12 solar panels have already been installed on the roof, and the EIBS will be integrated within the month.
Aside from installing solar-and-battery kits throughout Puerto Rico, Solar for Puerto Rico provides education on how to use and access solar technology.