Nonprofit aids Puerto Rico recovery through green energy

Posted: Updated:
GOWANUS -

A nonprofit is hoping to ramp up ongoing hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico by switching to green, solar energy.

It’s been one year since Hurricane Maria, and donations have aided Puerto Rico as the island rebuilds. But Paulina Seguinot, an urban design student born and raised in Puerto Rico, has other ideas.

Seguinot wants to help through Solar Libre, a nonprofit group that is part of Coastal Marine and helping Puerto Rico transition to green infrastructure. They help residents become more independent through solar panels.

As Solar Libre's project manager, Seguinot will head back to the island to do more training and teach local community organizations and students how to install and maintain solar panels.

Since last year, Solar Libre says it has completed 99 projects in Puerto Rico. On the one-year anniversary of the storm Thursday, the team is heading back to do its 100th solar project.

The nonprofit says while many people in Puerto Rico have power, there are several lingering issues.

"In most cases those who are on the grid (have) been so unstable," says Solar Libre co-founder Walter Meyer. "Meaning daily brownouts, weekly blackouts and then islandwide blackouts quarterly."

The nonprofit says it gets solar panel companies around the country to donate panels to them.

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