As Puerto Rico braces for another hurricane season, more of the island’s fire stations are getting solar micro-grids with help from the nonprofit Empowered by Light

Solar and energy storage systems will boost reliability and resiliency, while reducing energy costs

As hurricane season approaches, the nonprofit Empowered by Light (EBL) just finished installing solar energy and energy storage systems at three more fire stations on the island. The Tesla Powerwall will serve as the energy storage technology for the new systems. Two more stations are scheduled for completion in the next few weeks, which will bring to eight the total number of solar installations Empowered by Light has helped install on Puerto Rican fire stations.

“As extreme storms are expected to become more frequent and more severe due to climate change, Empowered by Light is committed to helping Puerto Rico switch to cleaner, more reliable sources of power such as solar and energy storage,” said Moira Hanes, executive director and co-founder of EBL. “These technologies are key to boosting energy security and resiliency, and reducing energy costs.”

“We’re making fire stations our first priority because the fire fighters play a critical role in keeping Puerto Ricans safe during emergency situations, including hurricanes,” said EBL Co-founder Marco Krapels.

The three new solar and energy storage systems will be installed at fire stations in the communities of Lares, Angeles and San Sebastian. They will connect to the grid, so any excess electricity they generate can be fed back onto the grid to help improve grid stability if necessary. The systems were designed and are being installed by local engineers and solar installers.

Empowered by Light’s efforts in Puerto Rico have been coordinated with the help of San Juan Fire Chief Alberto Cruz Albarran and Las Vegas Fire & Rescue Captain Richard Birt in response to the devastation caused when Hurricane Maria struck the island last September. At least 13,870 Puerto Ricans are still without power.

“When the national grid went down last month after an accident, the solar energy system Empowered by Light helped install meant critical infrastructure at the fire stations stayed on when the rest of the island went dark,” said Fire Chief Cruz, who recently announced on national news his hope for all of Puerto Rico's fire stations to be powered with solar energy and battery storage systems. Click here for full article.

These systems were made possible, in part, with the support of The Kresge Foundation, The Wallace Global Fund, The Electric Planet Foundation, and the Aireko Foundation, as well as many individuals.

Empowered by Light also plans to install solar and energy storage on the island’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), from which all disaster response is coordinated for fire, police and coast guard. Earlier this month, Empowered by Light held a fundraiser in New York City with actress Scarlett Johansson and Chef Bobby Flay that raised more than $150,000 for the EOC project. Donations for this effort can be made here: https://www.empoweredbylight.org/take-action/

See below for photos of Empowered by Light’s fundraiser and recent solar installations in Puerto Rico. (Photo credit for the installation images: Laura T Magruder; photo credit for the fundraiser images: Mark Barboni).

Empowered by Light is a 501©3 non-profit focused on empowering communities using renewable energy technologies. The organization has developed solar projects in seven countries, helping school-age children study better and longer, and powering conservation centers, ranger stations and indigenous communities in ecologically sensitive areas of the world. For more information about Empowered by Light, visit https://www.empoweredbylight.org/

For further information, please contact:
Moira Hanes
Empowered by Light
+1 415-488-7031
moira@empoweredbylight.org

Empowered by Light, Sunrun and Givepower Partner with Firefighters to Deliver Solar and Water Systems to Puerto Rico

Groups Offer Emergency Relief to Fire Stations and Remote Communities to Aid Recovery Efforts

San Francisco -- Bay Area-based non-profit Empowered by Light is leading an effort to deliver and install solar micro-grids, water desalination and purification systems, and water production systems to fire stations on the hurricane-ravaged island of Puerto Rico. In partnership with Sunrun—the nation’s largest dedicated residential solar, storage and energy services company, renewable energy focused non-profit Givepower, Zero Mass Water and several dedicated individuals, Empowered by Light organized the deployment in response to news reports stating that most of the island is still without power, and more than 50 percent of Puerto Rico is without clean water.

The effort, which was coordinated on the ground in partnership with San Juan fire chief Alberto Cruz and Las Vegas fire captain Richard Birt, includes the delivery and installation of solar-powered micro-grids at two fire stations on the island, as well as the deployment of three solar-powered water desalination systems, five innovative water production systems, and three portable solar-powered units to remote communities on the island.

The first solar system, a 4kW solar array with battery storage, was installed yesterday at the Barrio Obrero fire station in San Juan. The second installation is planned for today at another local fire station. The water desalination and purification systems will be deployed over the next several days.

“It appears the federal emergency response is focused on diesel to repower the island,” said Marco Krapels, Co-founder of Empowered by Light, who spearheaded the effort. “We wanted to demonstrate with real projects--with immediate impact, that renewable energy technology is available now and it’s a much more resilient alternative to diesel.”

“Our hearts go out to the millions affected by recent hurricanes, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to provide quick relief in Puerto Rico,” said Lynn Jurich, co-founder and CEO of Sunrun. “Unfortunately, extreme weather events will continue to impact the communities where we live. In the wake of recovery, it’s critical to rebuild smarter with resilient, distributed power like rooftop solar and storage.”

Empowered by Light advisor, actor and activist Mark Ruffalo, who supported the effort, commented, “Energy from the sun and wind are abundant, and can be used to power Puerto Rico. I think renewable energy solutions should be integrated into any emergency relief effort.”

Empowered by Light is a 501©3 non-profit that has developed solar projects in seven countries, helping school-age children study better and longer, and powering conservation centers, ranger stations and indigenous communities in ecologically sensitive areas of the world. For more information about Empowered by Light, visit https://www.empoweredbylight.org/

Sunrun (Nasdaq:RUN) is the nation’s largest dedicated residential solar, storage and energy services company with a mission to create a planet run by the sun. Since establishing the solar as a service model in 2007, Sunrun leads the industry in providing clean energy to homeowners with little to no upfront cost and at a savings to traditional electricity. The company also offers Sunrun BrightBox™ solar power generation with smart inverter technology and home battery storage. For more information, please visit: www.sunrun.com.

Givepower is a 501(C)3 non-profit focused on clean energy technologies that has provided clean energy access to communities around the world. For more information about Givepower, visit http://givepower.org/

For further information
Moira Hanes

Empowered by Light

+1 415-488-7031

moira@empoweredbylight.org

Georgia Dempsey

Sunrun

+1 415-518-9418

georgia.dempsey@sunrun.com

sunrun@highwirepr.com

Empowered By Light Partners with the GivePower Foundation to Install First Solar Minigrid System at Virunga National Park

Empowered By Light Partners with the GivePower Foundation to Install First Solar Minigrid System at Virunga National Park

 Larkspur, Calif., August 17, 2016 –Empowered By Light, a non-profit organization bringing renewable energy technologies to improve lives and the environment, is pleased to announce the installation of the first minigrid system in Virunga National Park in collaboration with the GivePower Foundation.

Conergy Expands Impact as Chief Storytelling Sponsor for Empowered by Light

Conergy Expands Impact as Chief Storytelling Sponsor for Empowered by Light

MAY 24, 2016 – MIAMI, FLORIDA – Global solar giant Conergy announces its support of the Empowered By Light Foundation, a high-­impact non profit bringing clean, reliable solar power to key communities throughout the developing world. To further Empowered By Light in its quest to bring clean energy solutions to communities around the world, Conergy is donating funds, market­-specific knowledge, and media resources to the nonprofit through 2017.