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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Arecibo mayor welcomes US energy chief during visit to announce solar energy & storage funds

U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Arecibo Mayor Carlos Ramírez Irizarry

By The Star Staff

Arecibo Mayor Carlos “Tito” Ramírez Irizarry received U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm at the Francisco “Paco” Abreu Center in the northern coastal municipality to follow up on the Biden administration’s project to allocate $453.5 million for solar energy and energy storage in Puerto Rico as part of its commitment to rebuild a stronger and more resilient electrical grid.

“We thank Secretary Granholm for her keen interest in the well-being of Puerto Rico. Never before in the history of Puerto Rico have we had an opportunity to boost energy production for families and for economic development like this project in which we are participating,” the mayor said. “In the mission to generate clean, renewable and more resilient energy, the Municipality of Arecibo is in the front row.”

The federal Energy secretary has been on the island since Monday, when she announced the allocation of the $453.5 million for solar energy and energy storage systems.

In early October 2022, following devastating Hurricane Fiona, President Biden visited Puerto Rico and delegated Granholm to establish and lead the Puerto Rico Grid Recovery and Modernization Team to channel federal resources and technical assistance to Puerto Rico. On March 31, after her previous visit, Granholm highlighted the progress made regarding the number of projects approved and under construction for the modernization and recovery of the island’s vulnerable power grid.

Ramírez Irizarry invited citizens to learn about the project through this internet address:

“In this link the most common questions about the initiative are answered,” the mayor said.

Granholm thanked those present for their attendance, and thanked the Municipality of Arecibo for its availability to cooperate on the project.

Ramírez Irizarry has an ongoing project to help Areciboños with serious health conditions that require electricity for their treatments.

The project aims to provide each citizen with solar batteries and a cart to transport them at the convenience of the patient, as well as solar panels to power the batteries.

“The purpose is that these teams can contribute to the quality of life of these citizens,” the mayor said. “Particularly now that the hurricane season has been underway since June 1, for these families it is a relief to have this equipment.”

The solar battery equipment, with a capacity of 2,000 watts, is known for its ease of use. It has a two-year warranty and the estimated market value of a single unit is $3,000.

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