- DOE announces $453.5 million funding opportunity to support solar expansion in Puerto Rico
- It will be open to very low-income, single-family households to deploy a total of up to 40,000 PV and storage systems
- A Solar Ambassador Prize opportunity worth $3.5 million is also open to local organizations in the region to facilitate solar and storage deployment
The US Department of Energy (DOE) will support rooftop solar expansion in Puerto Rico with a $453.5 million funding to enable installations for up to 40,000 solar PV and battery storage systems for very low-income, single-family households.
Targeted households will be located in areas with a high percentage of very low-income households and experience frequent and prolonged outages.
It will also incentivize such installations for families that have an energy-dependent disability such as electric wheelchair users or individuals using at-home dialysis machines.
This funding will be open to applicants from private industry, non-profit organizations, energy cooperatives, educational institutions and state and local government entities.
The DOE said the funding is part of the $1 billion Puerto Rico Energy Resilience Fund (PR-ERF) from the US government that aims to facilitate deployment of solar and battery storage for Puerto Rico’s most vulnerable residents. Overall target of the PR-ERF is to increase resilience and lower energy bills for up to 40,000 households.
“A future powered by renewables will offer the residents of Puerto Rico more energy security and more reliability—all while leaving households with cheaper bills to pay,” said US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M Granholm.
Announced on July 31, 2023, this funding round will accept applications till September 18, 2023.
Additionally, the DOE has also opened the Solar Ambassador Prize for local organizations in Puerto Rico to identify qualifying households to enroll them in the department’s residential solar PV and battery storage installation program by Spring 2024. Up to 20 organizations stand to win a total of $3.5 million through this prize.
Applications for the Solar Ambassador Prize will be admitted till September 25, 2023.
Late last year, the US government was seeking a $3 billion funding approval from the Congress to support low-income households in Puerto Rico purchase and install solar and storage systems (see US To Help Puerto Rico With Solar & Storage Systems).
An unincorporated US territory and prone to devastating hurricanes known to bring down the region’s power systems, Puerto Rico targets to go 100% renewable energy powered by 2050, while phasing out coal-fired electricity generation by 2028.