Strengthening Puerto Rico's energy system

Affordable, low-carbon electricity for healthier, safer, and more prosperous communities

Hurricane Maria severely damaged Puerto Rico’s infrastructure and created a public health emergency. As the frequency and severity of storms increase, Puerto Rico has an opportunity to prepare for the future and be a model of innovation and resilience for areas vulnerable to climate change.

Distributed solar power and storage capability can improve grid resiliency and is key to modernizing Puerto Rico’s electricity system. These systems operate independently of the main grid in the event of a power failure and can help communities recover from major storms, creating a more prosperous future for Puerto Rican families.

Environmental Defense Fund is collaborating with local communities and coordinating with academic institutions, technical specialists, and financial experts to bring these community-driven solar and storage projects to Puerto Rico and support long-term solutions to the archipelago’s energy crisis.

Our work centers on advancing a community-driven solar and storage project on the island of Culebra and supporting a range of partners who are driving systemic change to the energy system across the entire territory. With the right policies, programs and projects, Puerto Rico can meet its mandate to source 40% of its electricity from renewables by 2025 and 100% by 2050.

A timely, holistic approach

EDF approaches this work holistically, leveraging our technical expertise, sustainable financing tools and energy reform experience to help develop long-term solutions to the island’s energy crisis.

Some islands and communities in Puerto Rico often experience lengthier and more frequent service disruptions because it is harder and costlier for the traditional electric system to repair and maintain equipment in these remote locations. Following blackouts and environmental disasters, these conditions are only amplified.

EDF will design and integrate solar and storage projects in the island of Culebra to bring clean, reliable, affordable energy to low- and moderate-income residents. We will assist in building residents’ capacity to operate and maintain these systems once construction is complete. These systems will use renewable resources to produce enough electric power to meet their critical needs. They can also help households ride out a blackout without relying on traditional, dirty emergency generators.

With support from Fundación Colibrí and other donors, EDF will approach grid reconstruction holistically by offering technical expertise and innovative ideas to modernize the grid, devising sustainable financing tools and participating in energy reform initiatives.