Dramatically expanding rooftop solar and battery storage is necessary for Puerto Rico to meet its renewable energy goals and doing so would make its grid more reliable, resilient, and affordable, a new DOE and FEMA report says. Despite the island’s obvious solar and wind energy potential, 97% of its power generation comes from fossil fuels.
Distributed renewables like rooftop solar can help keep lights and refrigerators on after major storms — as they did after Hurricane Fiona last September — and actually cost less to build than Puerto Rico’s troubled, “existing fossil fuel capacity” costs to operate. During a DOE webinar on Monday, many Puerto Rican residents raised concerns about individual affordability, highlighting the need for broader renewables investment. “We want to have a solar community, but there is (no) program available for us!” Wanda Ríos wrote during the webinar. (AP, E&E $, San Juan Daily Star, NPR, Politico Pro $, The Hill, Fox News)