Projects in Puerto Rico
The people of Puerto Rico continue to face extreme weather exacerbated by climate change. While many parts of the island were still recovering from the devastating damage caused by Hurricane Maria, the pandemic hit bringing the island's tourism industry to a standstill and threatening food security. In 2022, Hurricane Fiona destroyed bridges and flooded communities.
Empowered by Light is helping build resiliency for Puerto Rico's communities by installing solar and energy storage systems so first responders can continue serving their communities, low-income elderly can continue to receive critical care, the lights are kept on at night for formerly abused children, families have a place to gather for meals and to distribute emergency supplies, and farming cooperatives can provide food for more families during and outside of natural disasters.
Since Hurricane Maria, Empowered by Light has completed 21 solar and energy storage projects across the island, but there is still much work to be done!
Join Oscar-nominated actor Mark Ruffalo in helping us build more resilient communities with renewable, reliable solar energy systems for more community centers, more elderly care homes, and schools, and local farming cooperatives to reduce the island's dependency on imported food.
Make a real difference to the lives of the people of Puerto Rico, and help them be better prepared and protected for the 2020 hurricane season and beyond.
21 projects completed
In September 2017, Hurricane Maria struck the island of Puerto Rico destroying nearly the entire electric grid. Over 90 percent of the island's residents lost power, and over half had no regular supply of clean drinking water. Four months later, half the island was still without power.
Empowered by Light began installing solar and battery storage systems on the island just two weeks after Hurricane Maria. It was clear Puerto Rico needed help building more resilient communities to better withstand powerful storms, especially given that extreme weather events are only expected to increase in strength and frequency due to climate change.
The solar array installed on the roof of the fire station in Naguabo, Puerto Rico.
To date, EBL has installed solar energy systems on 11 fire stations---the first three in partnership with Sunrun and our local partner, Aireko Energy Group, the second three with the support from the Kresge Foundation, Electric Planet, and Cypress Creek Renewables, and the last five with support from Electric Planet as well as hundreds of individuals. EBL has installed solar and energy storage systems on two elderly care homes--one in Adjuntas in collaboration with Casa Pueblo and one in Arecibo in partnership with MCS Foundation, on a home for abused children in Aguas Buenas, and on several community resiliency centers in partnership with Para la Naturaleza and Estuario.
During the pandemic, we completed a solar-powered emergency response unit with Footprint Project--literally mobile power, which emergency personnel across the island can deploy to wherever it's most needed. We also supported solar and energy storage systems for a farming cooperative and farm school on the west side of the island.
In addition to supporting the island's critical infrastructure, our projects demonstrate that restoring power to devastated areas with renewable energy technology can happen quickly and create better resilience for future extreme weather events.
BUT we need your help. We want to continue supporting the people of Puerto Rico who are literally living on the frontlines of climate change, by helping them prepare for a more resilient energy future. Your donations will help us achieve that goal.
Inspired by our work in Puerto Rico? A simple share on social media will help spread the word and perhaps find new supporters. Or you can donate now to create more projects like these.