SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO – U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm today concluded a weeklong visit to Puerto Rico. Throughout the trip, the Secretary sat down with community members across the eastern region of Puerto Rico providing updates on the Department’s urgent work to help repair and modernize Puerto Rico’s grid with clean and reliable power sources.
The Secretary also discussed the next steps for allocating the $1 billion Puerto Rico Grid Resilience Fund, authorized by President Biden in December 2022 and administered through the DOE’s Puerto Rico Grid Recovery and Modernization Team, for activities that will improve resilience for Puerto Rico’s electric grid.
During the visit the Secretary announced that the Asociación de Residentes de la Margarita Inc., based in Salinas, Puerto Rico is one of the recipients of DOE’s inaugural American-Made Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize (CCEC). The Salinas community-based organization aims to provide at least 40% of their elderly and low-income residents with community solar for a more robust and resilient microgrid. The Secretary also congratulated the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Government of Puerto Rico for moving forward in the development of the Centro Medico microgrid, ensuring operating tables and lifesaving equipment can keep on running in the face of extreme weather events.
The visit marked the Secretary’s third visit to Puerto Rico and kicked off the PR100 Community Engagement Tour – a series of events where the Secretary heard from Puerto Ricans on their suggestions for the PR100 study, a DOE report funded by FEMA, analyzing pathways to help the island meet its ambitious policy goal of 100% renewable electricity by 2050.
The Secretary travelled to Salinas, Vieques, Culebra and Loíza where she met with residents and community organizations, and visited critical care facilities that are experiencing challenges and seeking locally tailored mechanisms to increase their power resilience and survival through the access to clean energy such as solar power and battery storage.
The Secretary is expected to return to Puerto Rico for a fourth visit in March 2023.