Sunnova Helps Power Non-Profit Solar Projects in Puerto Rico Through Solar Panel Donations

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, October 03, 2019

Sunnova Energy Corporation is partnering with The Solar Foundation’s “Solar Saves Lives” initiative and other non-profits in Puerto Rico to power critical energy projects on the island. As part of its commitment to rebuild Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, Sunnova is donating repurposed solar panels that will provide urgently needed electricity to communities and individuals throughout the island.

“The lasting impact of Hurricane Maria continues to devastate Puerto Ricans and how they power their lives,” said Karla Zambrana-Melendez, General Manager for Sunnova in Puerto Rico. “Over a year and a half has passed since the hurricane swept our island, yet there are still projects and communities that need access to power.”

“We hope that this donation to solar projects across the island provides greater energy resiliency in communities and allows them to better prepare for future storms.”

Sunnova’s contribution was welcomed by non-profits organizations that are looking for ways to power Puerto Rico with environmentally responsible and reliable energy.

“Since Hurricane Maria, we have partnered with solar companies and humanitarian relief organizations to make Puerto Rico stronger and more resilient through solar energy and battery storage,” said Andrea Luecke, President and Executive Director of The Solar Foundation. “This donation will help other nonprofits fulfill their missions to make Puerto Rico sustainable, self-sufficient, and prosperous.”

BoxPower, which manufactures turnkey solar microgrids in 20-foot shipping containers that serve as reliable and cost-effective alternatives to diesel generators, had an immediate need for the solar panels. After Hurricane Maria, BoxPower partnered with the Centro de Transformación Comunitaria de Mariana in Humacao to provide solar microgrid power. The Center is housed in an old school building that the community of Mariana restored after Hurricane Maria. Until it received support from BoxPower and Sunnova, the Center had been paying up to $150 a week to fuel their generator.

“Not only will these donated solar panels from Sunnova help the Centro for Community Transformation save money, but they will guarantee that the residents of Barrio Mariana have a place of refuge with reliable electricity in the event of another disaster,” said Angelo Campus, CEO of BoxPower. “This containerized solar microgrid is also powering a laundromat, medical clinic, coworking space and hostel."

[Photos below: April 21, 2019| Solar panel donation installation at the Center for Community Transformation, Barrio Mariana, Humacao, Puerto Rico]

Sunnova Helps Power Non-Profit Solar Projects in Puerto Rico Through Solar Panel Donations

BoxPower - Sunnova

[Photo above: BoxPower, April 21, 2019. Centro de Transformación Comunitaria de Mariana microgrid powered by solar plus battery storage]

Will Heegaard, Director for Footprint Project, whose mission is to turn disasters into opportunities for sustainable development, stated: “Footprint Project is excited to put this equipment to use in ongoing resilient energy projects in Puerto Rico. As climate emergencies increase in frequency, severity and scale, Puerto Rico’s recovery from Hurricane Maria will stand as a model for the humanitarian community. We’re thrilled to see partners stepping up to support sustainable disaster recovery and help communities build back greener.”

Empowered by Light, an organization that is empowering people to protect the planet, has completed 13 projects in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricanes Maria and Irma, donating solar and energy storage systems to 11 fire stations, a care home for low-income elderly and a home for abused children. Moira Hanes, Executive Director of Empowered by Light stated: "Empowered by Light is grateful to receive this donation as we continue our work in Puerto Rico helping to support and build resiliency in disadvantaged communities on the island." 

OpenWorld Relief, a nonprofit that arrived in Puerto Rico three days after Hurricane Maria, is dedicated to empowering communities affected by natural disasters. Since Hurricane Maria, it has continued to operate projects related to health and wellness, business redevelopment and sustainability projects across the island. One such project provides resilient, reliable power to protect against future disasters at the Mayaguez Zoo and to assist research and education for its partnering University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez.

“This solar donation, paired with our ongoing projects across the island of Puerto Rico, will provide resiliency and relief to so many people and animals that deserve our help,” said Ben Watsky, Executive Director of OpenWorld Relief. “Over 300 species of exotic animals at the zoo, the University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez and the municipality as a whole will benefit greatly from this donation.”

Sunnova has been offering Puerto Ricans consumer choice for affordable and sustainable solar energy options since 2013. In the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Sunnova remained committed to Puerto Rico and undertook one of the largest residential solar fleet restoration efforts in history to repair and replace its customers’ damaged solar systems as quickly as possible at no cost to the customer. Sunnova is helping to reinvent the energy infrastructure landscape on the island through renewable energy, specifically through its solar plus storage service offering, Sunnova SunSafe™.


Kelsey Smith
Sunnova Energy Corporation