Amicus Solar Cooperative, a purchasing cooperative of solar energy companies, and Amurtel, a non-profit working in disaster relief, are partnering to build Solar Outreach Systems (SOS) to bring dozens of desperately needed portable solar energy systems to power critical areas in Puerto Rico.
Millions of Americans living in Puerto Rico (Boriqueñas) remain without power due to Hurricane Maria, many still without passable roads, access to clean drinking water, in need of basic supplies, and unable to receive medical care they would otherwise have with functional electricity.
At an 18-degree latitude, Puerto Rico is an ideal geography for solar energy, but with so little solar in place right now, few businesses or homes are able to take advantage of this sustainable source of power. Having to depend on the old power grid means Puerto Rican communities are looking at being without power for up to a year. The SOS portable community-based communication and emergency power hubs will immediately assist on the ground relief efforts.
The SOS will be deployed by the Aireko Foundation, an offshoot of Aireko Energy Solutions which is a member of Amicus. These units will be loaned to the communities for the duration of their need and redeployed as needs and events dictate. “The aftermath of Hurricane Maria has been as strong and even harder than the path of the storm itself, especially for those communities in the interior of the island. After more than a month, reestablishment of electric power for those communities is still unknown, and the quality of water is not the best – for those communities that are lucky enough to have this service, which are very few. Sadly, those communities are far from returning to their normal lives,” said Hector Rivera Russe of Aireko Energy Solutions. “I’m deeply touched by how my Amicus partners, alongside Amurtel, have jumped without hesitation, to putting their time, resources and effort to give relief to my people in Puerto Rico. I will always be thankful to them.”
This Amicus-Amurtel SOS partnership is actively fundraising for the Power on Puerto Rico project to design, build, and deploy 10 initial portable, off grid solar systems for remote community centers where the public can charge cell phones, rechargeable lights, radios, and other low load, high value items that will offer immediate relief to disaster victims. A goal of 100 units will be deployed through this effort. Tax deductible donations of materials, services and cash contributions are being coordinated through http://www.amurtel.org/get-involved/donate/
AMURTEL is an international volunteer organization founded in 1975 that works to help improve the quality of life for people experiencing chronic poverty or acute stress from environmental, financial, or political distress. We encourage and enable individuals and communities to harness their own resources for securing the basic necessities of life and for gaining greater economic sustainability and social and spiritual fulfillment. It is the goal of Amurtel to assist communities in their recovery and development while honoring their customs, language, and religious beliefs. www.amurtel.org
Founded in 2011, AMICUS SOLAR COOPERATIVE, is the first purchasing cooperative in the U.S. solar industry. As a member-owned company, we share best practices with each other and pool our purchasing power to obtain lower pricing on both products and services allowing us to deliver better value to our customers. AMICUS is made up of 43 member-owners, each operating under their own brand with over 60 office/service locations in 29 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada. Amicus is equally owned and democratically governed by its membership of independent solar photovoltaic (PV) installation companies. More information can be found at www.amicussolar.com.