Solar power: Puerto Rico’s next step in disaster management.
(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico Buzz) – Sunrun Solar provided solar installations at fire stations that were unable to communicate soon after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico.
Several fire departments in PR were left without power and were unable to make communication equipment operational. As a result, emergency services were forced to rely on word of mouth, according to a Sunrun statement to Puerto Rico Buzz.
“I was proud to have partnered with brave local firefighters and inspiring organizations—Empowered by Light and the GivePower Foundation—to provide relief to fire stations in San Juan,” said Lynn Jurich, Sunrun’s Chief Executive Officer. “When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, it left several fire stations without reliable energy to power critical communication equipment.”
Although conventional generators may have been an option, gasoline and diesel shortages after the disaster, made it nearly impossible to operate generators.
“Without the proper access to power and clean water, fire stations in PR were unable to meet the needs of the devastated community,” said Sunrun in a statement to Puerto Rico Buzz.
Sunrun partnered with the PR fire fighters as well as Empowered by Light and the GivePower Foundation to ensure that firefighters could continue their brave work with the lights on and provide relief to the communities that surround them.
Solar energy was a key element in order to maintain essential systems operating at PR fire stations.
Since Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, more than 68 percent of the island’s power grid has not been restored. As a company that believes in the power of clean, renewable, resilient energy, we saw it as our mission to address this issue and install solar technology where it was needed most — in fire stations, which serve as community centers for local residents in times of crisis, according to Sunrun.
Power is essential for community members in desperate need of electricity, clean water, healthcare, and support. Rooftop solar power and battery storage will now provide reliable power for essential systems in the fire stations — allowing the firefighters to restore life-saving communication equipment, according to Sunrun.
“As a result, emergency services were forced to rely on word of mouth to learn about people in need. By installing our BrightBox systems—solar panels paired with batteries—Sunrun was able to provide power for essential systems in the fire stations so firefighters had the necessary equipment to meet the needs of the community,” said Jurich.
Leilani Münter, a biology graduate, professional race car driver and environmental activist, also participated in Sunrun’s solar power installations in PR.
“I was honored to work with Empowered by Light and Sunrun on the solar installations at fire stations in Puerto Rico,” said Münter. “I have always enjoyed being hands-on with my activism.”
Although it may have been convenient for Münter to help from mainland United States, the activist preferred to be on the ground assisting firefighters.
“Whatever the issue I’m trying to shine a light on, I always like to be there on the ground, in person, when I can be,” said Münter. “It really helps you understand the problem in a much deeper way if you witness it firsthand.”
Münter was shocked and heartbroken to see firsthand the suffering of people due to the lack of electricity.
“I was heartbroken to see how many people are still suffering without power so many days after Hurricane Maria,” said Münter. “It was really quite shocking.”
According to Münter, the electrical grid in PR is in desperate need of rebuilding. It makes more sense to rebuild it smarter with solar panels and battery packs. That way, when the next storm comes, the grid will be more resilient than when Hurricane Maria hit.
“I was happy to help in a small way with these solar installations, but there is so much work is left to be done,” said Münter. “I hope the world is not forgetting about the people of Puerto Rico.”
A Las Vegas firefighter also answered Sunrun’s call to help in the recovery efforts.
“The thought of these brave young firefighters trying to save lives with no power at their stations was devastating to me,” said Capt. Richard Birt, a Las Vegas firefighter. “So, between my years in the fire service and living off the grid for 13 years, I knew I had the skills to run this mission and provide critical power that was desperately needed to save lives.”
Birt felt committed to the other firefighters in PR. He believes that the future of energy in PR is through solar power in order to help overcome this and future emergencies.
“My goal is to try and help my amazing firefighter brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico, and to try and show how renewable energy is resilient, efficient, reliable, affordable and sustainable, said Birt. “What better way of doing this then creating micro-grids that literally save lives by empowering the heroes of Puerto Rico to do what they do best.”
Sunrun and its members felt inspired and humbled by the resiliency and the community spirit displayed by the people of PR.
“When we arrived on the ground, I felt very humbled to work closely with Empowered by Light and the GivePower Foundation to install solar technology and provide water solutions to fire stations in Puerto Rico that were in need,” said Jurich.
Although Sunrun may have completed its initial phase in helping restore electricity through solar power, the recovery efforts will continue.
“Recovery efforts in Puerto Rico are just beginning,” said Jurich.” “Sunrun will continue to support Puerto Rico as it re-establishes power.”
Additional teams of specialists are expected to arrive in PR during December 2017.
“We have a team of specialists heading back to Puerto Rico this month (December), and plan to do further installations during the coming year,” said a Sunrun statement.
Sunrun 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.
*Our next report will feature Puerto Rico’s local firefighters and their thoughts on solar power.
Puerto Rico is Open for Tourists
(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico Buzz) – Travelocity® and Expedia Media Solutions®, in collaboration with the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, are ramping up efforts to help shift public perception of the situation in Puerto Rico, this week.
“Puerto Rico has always been a popular destination for travelers, as well as a fantastic, long-term partner, and we jumped at the chance to work with Travelocity to support the Puerto Rico Tourism Company,” said Wendy Olson Killion, global senior director for Expedia Media Solutions. “The collaborative campaign will ensure new and repeat visitors know Puerto Rico is again open for tourism, and that tourism will positively impact the island’s economy and contribute to recovery efforts.”
Approximately 68,000 locals are employed in the tourism sector, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. With this importance to the economy, the simple and enjoyable act of visiting Puerto Rico can make a huge difference. For more information on the Island, travelers can also visit SeePuertoRico.com.
“We are thrilled to have our Travelocity and Expedia partners join in spreading the word that the Island is, in fact, open for tourism,” said Carla Campos, acting executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company. “It is with pride and hospitality, traits that characterize our people, that we welcome visitors with open arms, because coming to visit us is the best way to support us right now.”
The campaign, which was donated on behalf of Travelocity and Expedia Media Solutions, includes on site advertising placements, a dedicated page highlighting the hotels and resorts that are open for business in Puerto Rico, and useful content about the country on the Travelocity “Inspire” blog.
Travelocity is offering $150 off a $1500 package booking with code CARIBNOW from now until February 6th, 2018 for travel between now and September 16th, 2018. For full terms and conditions visit http://travelocity.us/PuertoRico.
Rosselló Asks Police Officers to Return to Work
(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico Buzz) – Gov. Ricardo Rosselló asked members of the Puerto Rico Police Department to return to work, Jan. 8.
The massive absenteeism of police officers has been largely attributed to the lack of overtime pay in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, but some say it goes back even further.
“I ask of any partner of the uniformed force that is not attending [work]at this moment – I ask of them to return,” said Rosselló. It’s not just about giving a message about a series of initiatives, but it’s a matter of safety for our people.
Rosselló is currently evaluating how police officers that missed work, will be reprimanded.
“We’re establishing which administrative measures will take place,” said Rosselló. There’s a lot of information that needs to be gathered.
At times, approximately 8,000 police officers have missed worked, out of about 14,000 islandwide.
Police union representatives have said that police officers are using their sick and holiday time available.
Watch Carmen Yulín Suck Up a Load of Bribe Cash
(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico Buzz) – Here we go again. Another Carmen Yulín appearance on The Simpsons.
Spoiler alert: Donald Trump tries to bribe Robert Mueller with a room full of cash. Mueller leaves.
Then Carmen Yulín walks into the room dressed as a housemaid before revealing her usual “comandante de la revolución” outfit.
Yulín then pulls out a vacuum cleaner to suck up the loads of American cold-hard-cash bribe money.
Mueller Meets Trump, Season 29
— Carmen Yulín Cruz (@CarmenYulinCruz) December 14, 2017
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