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Solar for Puerto Rican Hospital: part of end-of-year donations rush …

December 31st, 2017 · 1 Comment

Like all too many Americans, part of New Year’s Eve rushing around always seems to be getting in just a few more donations. Thanks to the GOP Tax Scam, along with millions, that end-of-year rush is, well, even rushier. (We always try to clean out and donate useful stuff and that, generally, is a ‘whenever’ activity. The #TaxScam pressured us to do a clean sweep last week — and, well, we weren’t the only ones as there was a long line to donate to Goodwill …)

Many of my donations, as per the focus of this blog, go into clean energy, climate, environmental, and related spaces.

A just made donation covers many arenas. Just completed a donation for helping put up a solar microgrid at a Puerto Rican Hospital. While such measures should have been core to a major and ongoing US government response to Hurricane Maria and the tribulations of 3.5 million American citizens on the island, such a Disaster 4R response simply wasn’t in the cards with the Trump regime and its seeming disdain for the plight of so many Americans.

It is not every donation that seems to hit so many arenas of concern:

  • Clean Energy future: Helping put up clean energy systems, that will displace diesel fuel, my family’s donation will help Puerto Rico’s transition to a clean energy future and reduce climate impacts from the hospital’s operations.
    • Puerto Rico has an expensive, highly polluting, and — even before Maria — unreliable electricity system.
  • Disaster resiliency: The solar microgrid system will help provide resiliency in the face of a future disaster — and even help keep the power on during the all-too-often intermittent outages.
  • Helping Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans post Maria: Our fellow citizens have nearly disappeared from the concerns of too many — including from those running the Federal Government.  They need our assistance — and this is a useful path.
  • Medical care: Okay, clean energy solutions helping save people’s lives directly … that is a pretty good combo.
  • Etc …

The project I donated to, a crowdsourcing being run by acquaintances of acquaintances seeks “to install a 6 kilowatt solar emergency microgrid on the Migrant Health Center in the western region of Maricao, Puerto Rico”, is just a small drop into the ocean of Puerto Rico’s needs.  If you wish to look elsewhere and have something ‘more’ than a crowdsourcing re solar & Puerto Rico, the Solar Foundation is helping move money to projects–go to see their very appropriately named site: Solar Saves Lives.  The project I donated to, in fact, is being done in coordination with the Solar Foundation. From the organizer:

“Right after Hurricane Maria ripped through Puerto Rico, I read that FEMA was asked if they were going to put in solar panels and they said no. They were just tasked with rebuilding Puerto Rico‘s electricity grid the way it was before. Their budget to rebuild was $5 billion and they were going to rebuild the antiquated, dysfunctional dirty grid transmission and distribution infrastructure. PR electricity comes from 98% fossil fuels and 2% renewables. This is tragic! It’s up to us to help move the needle to a clean energy system.
I am working with The Solar Foundation in DC which is serving as the project manager. Solar Foundation is coordinating equipment donations, equipment purchases and contractors to install solar photovoltaics and batteries. There are many companies that are willing to reduce their equipment prices, donate equipment or donate their time to help Puerto Rico. Feels like a barn raising.
Solar Foundation had a list of 62 medical clinics, mobile clinics and hospitals and identification of how much solar PV and energy storage they need to continue operations when there is a blackout. I asked them for a small, rural clinic that otherwise would not be helped for years. Policlinica Jayuya is the site we chose. Solar Foundation is working with New Energy to engineer and install the installation pro bono.”

2017 has been a very difficult year — on so many levels, in so many ways, for so many people.

Ending the year taking a step to help put solar systems into Puerto Rico is, well, a good way to end that difficult year.

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Tags: renewable energy · solar

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Justine Burt // Jan 3, 2018 at 11:04 am

    Please note that in the past week we have had to pivot to this clinic. Originally the head of Puerto Rico’s Primary Care Network, Javier Jirau, chose Policlinica Castaner in Jayuya for a solar emergency microgrid. That medical clinic has been unresponsive to requests for utility bills and a list of critical equipment loads. As we have nearly completed fundraising, we need to start the engineering designs for the system and other clinics have been more responsive to information requests. Mr. Jirau has chosen the Migrant Health Clinic in Maricao to receive solar power and energy storage.

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