Puerto Rico Turns to Solar Power After Hurricane Maria

Puerto Rico Turns to Solar Power After Hurricane Maria

On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria devastated the area of Puerto Rico, Dominica, and St. Croix. The hurricane peaked at Category 5 – or upwards of 157 miles per hour. The damage toll was immense – with the cost of damage reaching 102 billion USD. Deaths from the hurricane were estimated above 3,000, – significantly higher than even Hurricane Katrina. Infrastructure and utilities were decimated, making the rescue and rebuilding efforts slow and difficult. 

Even by the time a 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit the area on January 7, 2020, people were still living in temporary housing and struggling to piece together destroyed communities. Citizens and families are struggling to live day by day, but there is some help given. In the absence of gas lines, power lines, and reliable fuel sources in the area, solar power has been the number one solution to giving back the power to the people.

Solar Power For Disaster Relief

In the midst of the natural disaster, sources from around the world offered their support to help struggling citizens. One of the more notable contributions came from Tesla – offering solar panels, devices, and Powerwall battery systems. The power generated and stored across these components were able to create “microgrids” capable of supporting entire communities! Hundreds and thousands of these systems were installed across the entire country, making the necessities of life like cooking, cleaning, and bathing possible! 

Other organizations chipped in to keep Puerto Rico running solar-powered, as well! LuminAid in particular offered its products to keep the lights on and keep cell phones and other mobile devices charged! The small, cube-shaped lanterns doubled as a portable battery bank, in a clever twist of the idea. Smaller solar panels have been added as an attachment to a number of emergency technologies – like radios, water purifiers, and generators! 

Why Solar Power?

Of all the disaster relief power options available, solar power remains one of the most sought-after and viable. The panels themselves stand up well to the elements, requiring very little maintenance or care to keep providing life-saving power. Absolutely zero fuel or material draw either – putting them miles and miles above gasoline or bio-fuelled generators. The panels themselves, while sometimes a bit cumbersome, still manages to be a very lightweight and completely scalable power source. You’ll find solar panels in every size from the size of your palm to spanning your entire roof! The sheer versatility is unmatched, needing only the view of the Sun to keep your home lit!

On a grander scale, though, reducing the reliance on gasoline generators to keep the community powered is immediately environmentally appreciated. The fumes from traditional generators, especially in an area where many are being used, can build up and rapidly take a toll on the air quality. A disaster area is prone to present many respiratory hazards on it’s own – and compounding the issue with poor air quality can make sickness skyrocket. If improperly stored or deployed, gasoline generators could even pose the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning or accidental fires.

Your Home Solar Solution

If you’re in a disaster-prone area and want to prepare, or simply want to make an eco-friendly change for your home and your wallet, Sol-Up of Las Vegas has everything you need. Our service professionals and technicians have the know-how to get your home fixed up with solar power! If you want to learn more about how solar panels could help you in particular, we can offer consultation and plenty of information to convince you! Learn more about our mission and contact us today for a quote!

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