What it's about:
Following the devastation Hurricane Maria wrought in Puerto Rico recently, two New York-based architects, Jonathan Marvel and Walter Meyer, have initiated a project called "Resilient Puerto Rico" to supply solar microgrids to municipalities across the island.
Large shipments of solar panels, generators and power inverters are being sent to the storm-ravaged island with immediate recovery efforts focused on the most vulnerable, including the elderly and those in need of medical care.
The supplies will be sent to 16 community centres and assembled in country using grassroots volunteers. Marvel would also like to create opportunities for architecture students in Puerto Rico, similar to students in New Orleans who helped rebuild the city after Hurricane Katrina.
His team’s longer-term goal is to focus on scaling up renewable energy sources to provide a more permanent electricity supply to remote communities on the island.
U.S. electric car and battery maker Tesla Inc’s CEO Elon Musk also recently added his support, tweeting that his company would send battery installers to Puerto Rico to help restore power and would talk to Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello about what Tesla could do to assist with the recovery.
Why it's noteworthy:
Much of Puerto Rico, which has a population of 3.4 million, is still without electricity after Hurricane Maria struck it with ferocious winds and torrential rains last month, the most powerful hurricane to hit the U.S. territory for nearly a century.
As of early October, the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority had restored power to only about 16 percent of the island’s electric customers. Some experts say the disaster offers an opportunity to shift the power supply to clean energy systems that could prove more resilient in the face of future storms.
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