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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Energy pilot project impacts some 40 homes in Culebra

By The Star Staff

The island municipality of Culebra saw groundbreaking recently on the first phase of a solar energy pilot project that will supply clean energy to some 40 homes.

The information was provided in a statement by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), Fundación Colibrí, and Genesis Solar, which broke ground last week on the initial phase of a community-based solar and storage pilot project to bring power to the area.

The pilot aims to advance energy independence in Culebra by installing solar panels and batteries in low- and moderate- income households ahead of this year’s hurricane season that starts in June and will support the island municipality’s vision to become a “resilient island.”

Priority will be given to the elderly, families with children and those with health and other special needs. This comes after Puerto Rico experienced an island wide blackout - one of the major power disruptions after hurricanes Maria and Irma, the officials said.

“Today brings a ray of hope to Puerto Rico. After the countless blackouts we’ve experienced since the tragedy of hurricane María, the small and industrious island municipality of Culebra is implementing long-lasting energy solutions that will be a model of energy independence for other areas in the territory,” said Agustín Carbó, senior manager, energy transition for EDF.

“The residents of Culebra are the real heroes today. They have come together in unprecedented ways to launch a variety of energy initiatives and make their community resilient in the face of climate change. The Environmental Defense Fund is committed to supporting them by bringing clean and resilient power to their homes,” he said.

“Community-led clean energy projects like this one can amass the political will and encourage the right policies, so Puerto Rico can meet its environmental goals. What’s more, it can serve as a model for communities throughout the Caribbean who are on the front-line of climate change,” he said.

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