There's a new push for renewable energy in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria caused the city to lose power for months after the storm.
Last week, the Puerto Rico House and Senate held a joint hearing to consider a bill that would transition the island to 100% renewables, reports Fast Company's Adele Peters.
The bill calls for 20% renewable electricity by 2025, 50% by 2040, and 100% by 2050. California recently passed a similar bill, with a goal of 100% renewables by 2045. Hawaii passed a similar law in 2015, and this June, added another law with the goal of becoming fully carbon neutral.
After Maria, SunRun, along with companies like Sonnen and Tesla, installed small solar microgrids–solar panels plus batteries to store the power–at sites like hospitals and fire stations. The systems worked, and have continued to work during more recent temporary blackouts. That helped bolster the political case for more microgrids, which the new bill supports as part of the shift away from fossil fuels. It’s also designed to support “prosumers,” consumers who can install rooftop solar systems and then sell excess power to the grid and their neighbors. Some disaster funding from the federal government may help homeowners buy panels. (A request from Puerto Rico to HUD currently asks for $100 million to go to solar power and storage.)Read More