Puerto Rico’s preventable grid disaster

Another hurricane, another mass blackout — and another humanitarian disaster that could have been avoided.

Don’t miss our live episode of Climavores in New York City on October 20! Sign up here for a night of live audio and networking with top voices in climate journalism.

On The Carbon Copy podcast this week:

On September 18, almost exactly five years after Hurricane Maria wiped out Puerto Rico’s electric grid, another storm — Hurricane Fiona — pushed the island’s electric system to failure.

Earlier this year, we brought Canary Media reporter Maria Gallucci on the show to talk about Puerto Rico’s grid failures in the months and years after Hurricane Maria — and the boom in grassroots solar projects that has materialized in response. 

She’s been reporting on Fiona’s aftermath. Unfortunately, it’s a similar story to what transpired after Hurricane Maria. Nearly two weeks after the storm, one-third of the island’s residents still don’t have access to power, and many are still lacking water. 

But the storyline has changed for some. There are now tens of thousands more solar-plus-battery systems on the island, and some communities were able to keep the lights on as a result. 

This week, we’re getting a post-Fiona update from Maria, delving into the storm’s impact on Puerto Rico’s grid system, why it’s still broken and how solar and batteries could help fix it. Check out her ongoing special series about the grassroots movement to adopt solar and batteries in Puerto Rico, including recent updates in the wake of Hurricane Fiona. 

The Carbon Copy is a co-production of Post Script Media and Canary Media.

The Carbon Copy is supported by GridX. GridX provides invaluable business insight that improves the uptake of the programs, products and services needed to decarbonize. Delivering on our clean energy future is complex. GridX exists to simplify the journey. Learn more.

The Carbon Copy is brought to you by KORE Power. KORE Power is the leading U.S.-based developer of battery cell technology for the clean energy industry. KORE Power is proud to offer a functional solution to real-world problems and fulfill market demand to deliver a zero-carbon future. Learn more at korepower.com.