It's been over two months since Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico, casting darkness and disarray over the island territory. The hurricane knocked out power, cell service and running water, and little infrastructure has been repaired in the time since. Much of what has been restored, however, has been the handiwork of renewable energy companies seeking to test innovative new off-grid systems for power.
The latest is an initiative called "Power On Puerto Rico," a collaborative effort between the Amicus Solar Cooperative, a nationwide solar energy cooperative, and Amurtel, an international disaster relief organization. Together, the organizations are sending 100 Solar Outreach Systems (SOS) to the island. Each SOS consists of a 12-foot-long trailer equipped with six foldable solar panels strong enough to charge cell phones, lights, laptops, radios, and more, providing an off-grid, mobile system for Puerto Rico's citizens to gain some access to power.
Solar company ReVision Energy is building the emergency power hubs in North Andover, Massachusetts, and is lending them to Puerto Rico for an indefinite amount of time. In other words, it won't cost the territory a thing. But that's not to say this is a longterm solution, or an immediate one—it could take three to six months to build all 100 units.