Clinton Foundation Launches Puerto Rico, Virgin Island Energy Effort

Clinton Foundation Launches Puerto Rico, Virgin Island Energy Effort

The Clinton Foundation has announced a partnership with the Solar Foundation and other humanitarian groups to help restore electricity in hurricane-battered Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Through the Solar Saves Lives initiative, the group, which includes the two foundations as well as Operation Blessing, Direct Relief, Team Rubicon and J/P HRO, will join an assortment of solar energy companies to organize donations of solar and solar-storage technologies for use in regions affected by recent hurricanes. Organized by the Clinton Foundation and led by the Solar Foundation, the initiative will coordinate transportation of solar equipment directly to affected areas, coordinate shipping and distribution with partners, and ensure proper installation and service. Donations are being made at the request of local governments and are intended to fulfill specific needs on the ground, as assessed by local officials and relief organizations.

The initiative is being launched with more than $5 million in solar equipment donations from more than twenty companies and organizations, including Sunrun, BayWa r.e. Solar Systems, the SunSpec Alliance, CAM Solar, Carolina Solar Energy, So-Light, Renogy, Campervan HQ, and Prana Power, among others. The equipment ranges from portable solar equipment such as lanterns and cell chargers, to larger items such as solar refrigeration units, solar water-purification units, and equipment for large-scale solar installations. Several companies also have pledged cash donations from corporate matches, employee giving campaigns, and fundraisers.

"The hurricanes in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have created an ongoing humanitarian disaster that has left millions of Americans without power," said Solar Foundation president and executive director Andrea Luecke. "Solar Saves Lives will provide a central place where solar companies and other supporters who want to help but may not know how [and] can deliver urgently needed equipment to critical areas impacted by the hurricanes. We hope this collaborative effort will be a foundation for the industry’s response to future emergencies."

(Photo credit: Solar Saves Lives)