By Anna Mannello //
On September 20th, 2017, Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, spreading devastation and ruin throughout the island. Thousands of Puerto Ricans were, and continue to be, without power or access to clean drinking water. Forced to drink water from contaminated rivers and streams, the island residents have been at risk of serious illnesses. Additionally, the prolonged power outage has left people without a way to charge their phones and computers, resulting in disconnection and isolation from their families, work, and aid information.
So how do we begin to solve these ongoing problems caused by Hurricane Maria? One way is by bringing power back to the island. Solar power that is.
PV Squared is a member of the Amicus Solar Cooperative, a member-owned cooperative comprised of 43 solar companies. Together Amicus and Amurtel, a non-profit providing disaster relief, have taken on the project of bringing solar power to Puerto Rico- dubbing the project Power On Puerto Rico.
PV Squared eagerly joined the volunteer effort of designing and constructing Solar Outreach Systems (SOS) to be sent down to the island. As described by Amicus, “Each portable SOS is comprised of an enclosed trailer which can be pulled by a pickup truck. [They are] outfitted with six exterior solar panels, eight gel storage batteries, and fifteen lockers each with two USB ports and an electrical power outlet, providing 300-400 continuous watts of power. This will enable 15 phones and five laptops to be powered at a time. The trailer has a fold down bench with a water purification system which can purify up to 600 gallons of clean potable water at day.”
The first three Solar Outreach Systems have been completed and are at the Jacksonville port ready to ship to the island. A total of 10 units will be constructed and transported throughout this project. However, building and delivering these trailers to Puerto Rico isn’t cheap- it costs about $15,000 per unit! So we’re currently gathering people, materials, and donations to help construct the remaining units. If you’re interested in making a donation to this critical project, visit: https://www.youcaring.com/amurtel-1129310. If you would like more information on the Power On Puerto Rico project, visit: http://www.amicussolar.com/power-on-puerto-rico/. Every donation helps, so please share this exciting news far and wide. Thank you.