An Inspiration Story: Solar Microgrid Became a Town's Lifeline in Blackout-Prone Puerto Rico
One day a bakery owner in Puerto Rico decided to generate her own electricity and this is how the story starts…
Puerto Rico is a US territory with 3.2 million population, and has some of the most expensive and least reliable electricity of anywhere in the country. In Castañer where she lives, three or four times in a week power goes out. In 2017 Hurricane Maria left parts of the island in the dark for almost a year. Castañer went without power for eight months.
As if the money she paid for her electricity bill wasn't enough, it's also due to constant outages and voltage fluctuations she felt that she needed to do something big to solve this problem. That is when she decided to involve in community microgrid projects where she could produce and sell electricity to others. She mounted 51 solar panels on her roof feeding a bank of industrial batteries and inverters inside a beauty salon across the street. From there, the electricity was flowing to the US Post Office, an ice cream parlor, a private residence and an electric vehicle charger.
With this project she pays a fee for the flat of $771 while she used to pay more than $1,000 a month for electricity. Microgrids not only add a layer of redundancy to the system but are an effective way to pull in more renewable energy.
Imagine so many people are able to generate renewable energy in cities like Castañer, there would be no voltage fluctuations or power outages. So you can be an inspiration story also, why not?