- US administration is seeking $3 billion funding approval from the Congress to support solar in Puerto Rico
- It will use the proceeds to help low-income households in Puerto Rico purchase and install solar and storage systems
- It believes these systems will help these households increase their resilience in the face of energy crisis
US President Joe Biden administration has sought approval from the Congress to provide $3 billion to support installation of solar and battery storage systems along with energy distribution technology for Puerto Rico’s low-income households.
In a request made by the White House, the administration wants the Congress to clear this amount to the Grid Deployment Office under the Department of Energy (DOE) to be shelled out as grants for Puerto Ricans to purchase and install solar and storage systems.
It will help them increase their resilience in the face of blackouts and outages due to natural disasters they face frequently. The funding will also provide technical assistance to other local agencies, entities and communities in Puerto Rico, according to the White House.
Non-profit Earthjustice organization called it a step in the ‘right direction’ but not enough. It wants the US Congress to direct ‘additional billions of dollars to allow a full transition to distributed solar and storage’ in Puerto Rico.
“The people of Puerto Rico urgently need an electrical system with distributed renewable energy through rooftop solar and storage, and said system should be a public one responding to the protection of energy as a human right. Puerto Rico needs more and now is the moment,” said Senior Attorney at Earthjustice, Laura Arroyo.
Prone to devastating hurricanes, Puerto Rico’s grid is in a shambles and solar with storage is a very viable and doable option so people can generate their own electricity, thus bringing down the load on the grid as well as their electricity bills. But cost of these systems is an issue. Having finance flowing in should help encourage its adoption more.
As one among efforts to bring solar energy to Puerto Rican homes, US based residential solar power company Sunrun is working on a 17 MW virtual power plant (VPP) to bring together over 7,000 of its solar and storage systems installed on local homes to generate clean energy at a community level (see Sunrun To Build ‘1st’ Virtual Power Plant For Puerto Rico).
According to a US National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Puerto Rico has a utility scale solar PV development potential of over 20 GW, while distributed PV resources exceed 20 GW capacity potential.