Microgrids in Puerto Rico: Clean Power & Energy Independence

Puerto Rico Solar

Sam Kuster

 

In the wake of Hurricane Maria, competing plans for rebuilding Puerto Rico's energy infrastructure have been proposed, with varying degrees of emphasis on carbon emissions, energy independence, and resilience in the face of future storms.

 

I will explore how solar PV in the form of individual and commercial arrays as well as regional micro-grids can play a critical role in addressing all of these issues while providing a reliable source of electricity well-suited to Puerto Rico's natural resources as an island abundant in sunshine but without local fossil fuels.

 

Decentralization of power generation has been shown to improve resiliency in the aftermath of disasters; in Puerto Rico, solar and wind installations faired substantially better than centralized power sources and in many cases provided life-saving electric needs after Maria.

 

I will explore the implications of broader solar solutions in Puerto Rico in the context of the island's economic and political situation.