The tension over Puerto Rico’s energy future

Nearly five years after Puerto Rico’s grid was destroyed, can solar and batteries prevail?

On The Carbon Copy podcast this week:

Nearly five years ago, Puerto Rico’s grid was decimated by Hurricane Maria. In the aftermath of the destruction, many hoped that Puerto Rico’s new grid could be built around solar and batteries instead of centralized gas, coal and oil plants connected via far-flung transmission lines.

But that’s not how the recovery played out. Today, Puerto Rico still relies heavily on centralized fossil fuels. Residents continue to experience protracted blackouts, and the island’s utility is still facing accusations of mismanagement.

But a bottom-up movement has emerged supporting tens of thousands of rooftop solar and battery installations. These systems are being installed with minimal support from the government. 

Will this distributed energy help make Puerto Rico more resilient? Or will the island lock in more fossil fuels?

We’ll speak with Canary Media reporter Maria Gallucci, who just got back from a reporting trip there. Read her feature.

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

The Carbon Copy is supported by Nextracker. Nextracker’s technology platform has delivered more than 50 gigawatts of zero-emission solar power plants across the globe. Nextracker is developing a data-driven framework to become the most sustainable solar tracker company in the world — with a focus on a truly transparent supply chain. Visit nextracker.com/sustainability to learn more.

The Carbon Copy is supported by Scale Microgrid Solutions, your comprehensive source for all distributed energy financing. Distributed generation can be complex. Scale makes financing it easy. Visit scalecapitalsolutions.com to learn more.