Sunrun, the leading residential solar, storage, and energy services company in the US, has announced it is now offering its Brightbox solar-as-a-service and home battery combination to households in storm-ravaged Puerto Rico.
This is not the first time Sunrun has been to Puerto Rico, so to speak, being one of the first US national solar companies to send aid to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Sunrun partnered with non-profit organizations Empowered By Light and GivePower to deliver solar and battery systems that were vital to fire stations so that they could continue to provide the necessary essential services to people across the island. In fact, Sunrun’s solar and battery storage systems have powered essential services across the island since their installation and without interruption through the longest blackout in American history (author’s note: yes, Puerto Rico counts as ‘American’).
Sunrun was moving into the area by October, as we covered at the time. “The first solar system, a 4kW solar array with battery storage, was installed at the Barrio Obrero fire station in San Juan,” said Marco Krapels, Co-founder of Empowered by Light, who spearheaded the effort. “The second installation is planned and active at another local fire station. The water desalination and purification systems will be deployed over the next several days. It appears the federal emergency response is focused on diesel to repower the island.”
CleanTechnica’s own Kyle Field also sat down with Sunrun’s Senior Director of Business Development, Nick Smallwood, to talk about the work Sunrun has done in Puerto Rico, earlier this year.
While Sunrun’s new move into the island is less altruistic, it is nevertheless vital for communities across the island which either still do not have power, or which have intermittent power — not to mention are still living on an island likely to be hit by hurricanes in the future. Sunrun’s Brightbox offering of solar and battery storage helps give households the freedom to generate their own electricity and avoid outages.
“We welcome and thank Sunrun for providing us with a solution of alternative clean energy and continuing to be part of the journey of progress and development towards a self-sustained power grid for Puerto Ricans,” added Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares.
More than just offering solar and battery systems to households across Puerto Rico, however, Sunrun is committed to working with local sales and installations teams so as to deliver not only its service but to create new employment opportunities for Puerto Ricans desperately in need of work. With a population of over 3 million people, Puerto Rico might not be the country’s largest solar market at the moment, but with the perfect geography for generating solar power, there is tremendous opportunity to support the island across several vitally important areas.
The role of Brightbox and similar solar and battery storage systems will also help in modernizing Puerto Rico’s ageing grid, reliant on further development and the introduction of new digital technologies, but nevertheless opening a doorway to a more robust and flexible grid on an island where such attributes could be absolutely vital.