SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 20, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Sunrun and Empowered by Light, in partnership with Aireko Energy Group, today announced an expansion of their collaboration to bring solar power to critical fire stations in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico as part of a continuing effort to provide emergency relief to residents on the island. The initiative will equip a total of eight fire stations on the island with solar power and battery storage, which will power critical emergency systems 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
“Empowered by Light is delighted to continue partnering with Sunrun, and now with our local construction partner, Aireko Energy Group, to build solar systems to power critical communication centers at five more fire stations without power,” said
Marco Krapels, co-founder of Empowered by Light.
“Extreme weather events will continue to have long and devastating impact on communities around the world and it’s crucial to rebuild with smarter, resilient and distributed energy,” said
Lynn Jurich, co-founder and CEO of Sunrun. “Solar power and battery storage can be installed in less than two days to provide immediate relief when the power is down, and then offer a long-term solution by connecting to the grid and providing services to surrounding communities when electricity is restored.”
“Firefighters across Puerto Rico are still struggling to find power at home and work,” said San Juan Fire Department Lieutenant
Francisco Cruz. “These solar and battery systems are bringing our critical equipment back up and running, keeping it on, and enabling us to again serve our communities desperately in need.”
“We are humbled to be in the position to assist our firefighters, who save lives and help the most vulnerable in our community every day,” said Waldemar E. (“Tito”) Toro, P.E., President of Aireko Energy Group. “Installing solar plus battery storage systems at these fire stations is a small token of our gratitude to these women and men.”
Two months after Hurricane Maria pummeled the island, approximately half the island’s residents are still without power. Much of the island’s critical infrastructure has been relying on diesel generators in the absence of the power grid, but most of those generators weren’t designed to run on a continuous basis, and as a result, many are failing. Sunrun systems are constructed to withstand high winds and harsh weather over their multi-decade lifetime.
In addition to providing immediate support to a portion of the island’s critical infrastructure, Sunrun and Empowered by Light hope their efforts, in partnership with Aireko Energy Group, will encourage rebuilding efforts to include renewable energy technologies. The announcement to install solar on five further fire stations was made possible, in part, by funding from the Kresge Foundation, as well as hundreds of individuals who have made contributions to support the effort.
These installations are examples of microgrids, which are self-contained electrical systems that will enable the fire stations to keep their critical communication systems running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The technology consists of three components: solar panels, batteries, and an inverter with charge controllers.
During the day, solar panels take the energy from the sun, send it to the charge controller and power life-saving equipment at the fire station. Energy generated and not used is stored in the battery so that when the sun goes down at night, the battery can power all the critical equipment until the next day. The systems are designed to be flexible enough to run completely independently. When the power grid infrastructure improves, the solar and battery system can become part of the grid solution and provide peak load shaving and ancillary services.
Empowered by Light is a 501©3 non-profit focused on empowering communities using renewable energy technologies. The organization has developed solar projects in seven countries, helping school-age children study better and longer, and powering conservation centers, ranger stations and indigenous communities in ecologically sensitive areas of the world. For more information about Empowered by Light, visit https://www.empoweredbylight.org/
Sunrun (Nasdaq:RUN) is the nation’s largest dedicated residential solar, storage and energy services company with a mission to create a planet run by the sun. Since establishing the solar as a service model in 2007, Sunrun leads the industry in providing clean energy to homeowners with little to no upfront cost and at a savings to traditional electricity. The company also offers Sunrun BrightBox™ solar power generation with smart inverter technology and home battery storage. For more information, please visit: www.sunrun.com.
Aireko Energy Group, a turn-key engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) company with its headquarters in San Juan, Puerto Rico and regional offices in Orlando, FL, Norristown, PA, and New York, NY, is a leading provider of commercial, industrial and small utility-scale, photovoltaic (PV) system solutions for customers interested in clean, renewable energy. AEG’s unique and LEAN approach to solar energy generation is supported through its integrated team that includes Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) services. Since 2009, AEG has installed over 100 MWdc throughout Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, and Eastern United States. For more information, please visit: www.aireko.com.
For further information, please contact:
Empowered by Light
Aireko Energy Group
+1 (787) 653-6300 Ext. 236