Microgrid Pilot Projects
The Puerto Rican Solar Business Accelerator is working with two Puerto Rico communities to develop microgrid projects using solar energy and battery storage, in partnership with local organizations and the University of Puerto Rico — Mayagüez.
Microgrids use solar energy and battery storage to provide a sustainable, local electricity source independent of the power grid. They support local resilience in areas that are especially vulnerable to the impacts of natural disasters. Working with IREC, the local communities define the projects and participate actively in the design, contracting, model selection, and administration process.
These upcoming projects aim to serve as models for designing, installing, and managing microgrids in Puerto Rico.
Castañer, Puerto Rico
In May 2022, the community of Castañer celebrated the installation of its first solar energy microgrid. The project was developed in a collaborative process including the PRSBA, the local organization Cooperativa Hidroeléctrica de la Montaña, and the University of Puerto Rico — Mayagüez.
The first phase of the microgrid now includes 40 kW in solar energy and 35 kWh in battery storage. When complete, the installation will include about 225 kW of electricity and 500 kWh in storage. The installation and development of the microgrid was led by the company Borintek.
The microgrid powers five local businesses and provides an independent, resilient source of power that benefits the entire community.
Watch our two-part video to learn more!
Maricao, Puerto Rico
IREC has selected Maricao as the next community to develop a solar energy microgrid. One of the smallest municipalities in Puerto Rico, Maricao competed with 12 communities for the microgrid project, which will include approximately 75 kW in solar photovoltaic installations. The project will be located in the town center and benefit diverse community facilities including health care providers, banks, and other businesses that provide service to a population of about 5,430, creating a reliable and zero-emission energy system in an area that experiences daily power outages.
IREC will lead the support for Maricao in all phases of the microgrid project, with engineering and technical support from the University of Puerto Rico—Mayagüez and in partnership with a local 501 (c) (3) nonprofit, the Monte Azul Foundation.