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Solar power helping with Puerto Rico's energy problems
18 September 2018 - A group in Puerto Rico is working to make residents less energy dependent after Hurricane Maria destroyed the island's electrical grid one year ago. When Puerto Rico suffered an island-wide blackout after the storm, a solar-powered building in Adjuntas became a lifeline for many. People came to Casa Pueblo to charge their phones and medical equipment. The nonprofit organization, which is located in a mountainous town about two hours west of San Juan, still had electricity. (more)

Tesla, others help Puerto Ricans go solar
26 July 2018 - Ten months after Hurricane Maria, a handful of homes and businesses in the town of Adjuntas high in the central mountains of Puerto Rico are glowing in the night thanks to solar energy. They're part of a small but growing movement to provide the U.S. territory with sustainable, renewable energy independent of the decrepit power grid. (more)

Solar company builds portable power resource for Puerto Rico
5 July 2018 - A solar company in Vermont (U.S.) is building small trailers that will bring charging stations, water filtration, and lighting to Puerto Rico, which remains devastated from Hurricane Maria nearly a year later. Last September, Hurricane Maria swept across Puerto Rico, destroying basic infrastructure. Portions of the island remain without power or clean water. A group of small solar companies have come together to bring power to Puerto Rican communities. Waterbury, Vermont-based SunCommon is building what's called a Solar Outreach System. (more)

Puerto Rico's solar-powered energy oasis
3 April 2018 - Since Hurricane Maria struck in 2017, Puerto Rico has struggled to restore power. But in one building in the mountain town of Adjuntas, the lights never went out. 'Casa Pueblo had been running with solar power for almost 20 years,' said Arturo Massol Deya, president of Casa Pueblo, an environmental nonprofit and community center. (more)

Puerto Rico designates popular beach as natural reserve
27 December 2017 - Puerto Rico's governor has declared one of the U.S. territory's most popular beaches as a natural reserve. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said Tuesday [26 December] that the area has some 164 species, including several that are in danger of becoming extinct. (more)

Puerto Rico is being rebuilt with the aid of solar companies
6 December 2017 - The U.S. territory of Puerto Rico is still devastated and is struggling with basic needs, including a widespread lack of electricity. It has been two months since Hurricane Maria devastated the island ... In early October, Digital Journal began reporting on the number of entrepreneurs, volunteers solar energy companies, and tech companies that had stepped up to aid Puerto Rico in restoring the power grid and cell phone access. And the efforts have not stopped. For example, OHorizons is sending 25,000 solar lights with batteries and charging systems that generate up to 15 hours of power per charge, as well as 75 solar refrigeration units ... (more)

Struggling Puerto Rico children's hospital gets solar power from Tesla
25 October 2017 - A children's hospital in Puerto Rico that was forced to run off generators and ration diesel fuel in the wake of Hurricane Maria now has a solar power system that will supply all of its electricity needs. Tesla and Puerto Rico's governor touted the project yesterday (24 October), sending out multiple official tweets and Facebook posts, and officials said today (25 October) that the system is already providing solar-generated electricity to the hospital. Earlier this month, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that his company could bring solar power to Puerto Rico. (more)

Tesla solar power arrives in Puerto Rico
25 October 2017 - Entrepreneur Elon Musk has followed through on his plan to boost power resources in Puerto Rico after it was devastated by Hurricane Maria. Mr Musk's firm, Tesla, has set up solar panels and energy storage batteries at Hospital del Nino, a children's hospital in San Juan. Mr Musk has also donated $250,000 of his own money to support humanitarian efforts in Puerto Rico, where many people are still without electricity. ... (more)

A fire department in Puerto Rico is now powered by solar
13 October 2017 - The Barrio Obrero fire station on Friday installed a 4-kilowatt solar system that will provide it with full power, including its communications system. The station has been without reliable power since Hurricane Maria struck the island on September 20. 'Putting this in is the difference between life and death in this community,' Capt. Richard Birt told CNBC by phone. (more)

Solar competitors band together to help bring electricity to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico
9 October 2017 - Solar companies are banding together to help restore electricity to storm-ravaged Puerto Rico as 90 percent of the island's 3.5 million residents remain without power. Solar supplies such as roofing, generators, and tent shelters worth about $2 million are expected to arrive in the territory in the coming weeks. Most of that aid is coming from a national solar industry group, which is sending a plane to Puerto Rico with $1.2 million in supplies donated by its members. More aid is coming from a new group called Light Up Puerto Rico that was formed in the days after Hurricane Maria tore through the island. (more)


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Puerto Rico: Maharishi University of Management alumna presents at international renewable energy conference
6 January 2015 - Claudia Perez, a recent graduate of the Sustainable Living degree programme at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, USA, was a guest speaker on renewable energy at a conference in Puerto Rico towards the end of last year, after winning a competition sponsored by the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE). She presented a proposal she developed as part of her senior thesis project, advocating for renewable energy in her native Puerto Rico, to top policy makers, investors, technology developers, and other experts in the renewable energy field throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, and the US.
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In Puerto Rico, a new hurricane season threatens the elderly
14 June 2018 - At 84 years old and battling cancer, Israel Gonzalez Maldonado has lived without electricity for the nine months since Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated Puerto Rico. With another hurricane season starting, older Puerto Ricans have little to protect them from another storm on an impoverished island that remains far from fully recovered. Younger and wealthier people have been moving away for years, leaving an older and sicker population in the hands of an underfunded healthcare system. Tens of thousands more have fled since Maria. (more)

Puerto Rican death toll from Hurricane Maria 73 times official tally: study
29 May 2018 - Hurricane Maria claimed 73 times more lives in Puerto Rico than the official death toll of 64, according to new calculations based on a survey of thousands of residents by a team from Harvard and elsewhere. The group estimates that 4,645 people died between September 20 and December 31, 2017 as a direct or indirect result of the Category 4 storm, and one-third perished because of delayed or interrupted medical care. The researchers say even that estimate may be too low and the numbers 'underscore the inattention of the U.S. government to the frail infrastructure of Puerto Rico.' (more)

The hurricane hit Puerto Rico's paradise of hotels and resorts hard - and workers are facing an uncertain future
5 February 2018 - Many tourist havens, like Vieques and Fajardo, are still in need of stable cell phone service and electricity. And people who made a living in hospitality jobs are facing months of being out of work. One of Puerto Rico's largest resorts, the El Conquistador, is still closed to the public more than four months after suffering extensive damage. Two weeks ago, management laid off close to 1,000 staff members, according to local officials and former staff members. (more)

Puerto Rico struggles with massive environmental crisis
16 October 2017 - Raw sewage is pouring into the rivers and reservoirs of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. People without running water bathe and wash their clothes in contaminated streams, and some islanders have been drinking water from condemned wells. Nearly a month after the hurricane made landfall, Puerto Rico is only beginning to come to grips with a massive environmental emergency that has no clear end in sight. (more)

Power blackout leaves darkened Puerto Rico isolated and paralyzed
26 September 2017 - Hurricane Maria's devastation of the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico last week left the entire island and its 3.4 million residents without power. Officials are still evaluating what is needed to kick off a months-long effort to bring back electricity, meaning millions of people could face an extended period without clean water, refrigeration, safe food, or medical supplies. (more)

Puerto Ricans face punishing drought amid economic slump
6 August 2015 - Puerto Ricans are learning to live without water on an island that already was suffering an economic crisis. A severe drought is forcing businesses to temporarily close, public schools to cancel breakfast service, and people to find creative ways to stay clean amid sweltering temperatures. The drought is one of the worst in the U.S. territory's history. (more)

Misery deepens for those in Puerto Rico who can't leave
3 August 2015 - Puerto Rico's entrenched economic crisis is leading people to either cut their personal spending to the basics or flee to the mainland (United States) to search for jobs, contributing to the struggles of those left on the island. Nearly 10 years into a deep economic slump, Puerto Rico is no closer to pulling out, and, in fact, is poised to plummet further. (more)

Puerto Rico matches number of killings for 2010
12 November 2011 - Puerto Rico has equalled the number of killings reported for all of last year when the US Caribbean territory marked its second highest number of slayings ever. Police said Saturday that 983 people have been killed so far this year. Police say the majority of slayings are drug-related. (more)

Massive Puerto Rico pipeline triggers debate
14 May 2011 - Puerto Rico's Governor is proposing to solve soaring energy prices on this oil-dependent US island with a massive natural gas pipeline that would cross some of the territory's most fragile ecosystems and archaeological sites. Gov. Luis Fortuno has made the $450 million project a central goal of his administration and he insists it is a safe, environment-friendly way to lower utility bills. But others say the 92-mile (148-kilometre) pipeline will tear up lush green mountains and expose people living near it to deadly explosions. The pipeline proposal, which Fortuno has dubbed 'The Green Way,' also has sparked corruption allegations. The largest contract so far has gone to an engineering firm with no pipeline construction experience that is owned by a childhood friend of the Governor. (more)

ACLU: Puerto Rico has pattern of police brutality
3 May 2011 - A celebrity-enhanced ACLU delegation criticized Puerto Rico's government Tuesday for using police to keep the island's main university system open during a strike over a new fee, with members saying they found clear evidence in which officers abused students during the protests. The delegation, which included Oscar-nominated actress Rosie Perez and former major league baseball player Carlos Delgado, said the initial findings of a fact-finding mission found a pattern of excessive police force over the past 18 months involving students, union leaders, and journalists. Perez said at a news conference that she was overwhelmed by the testimony of students who said they were brutalized or harassed and abused by police during a series of violent clashes over the $800 fee and budget cuts. (more)

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