In September 2017, Hurricane Maria knocked out power to 100% of Puerto Rico's 3.4 million residents and first responder stations. An estimated 2,975 people died, making it the deadliest natural disaster in US history and the longest blackout in 100 years. Without any form of power, first responders lose the capacity to effectively receive emergency calls from 911 dispatchers, charge radios, operate computer systems to communicate and coordinate mutual aid and respond to emergencies.
Solar Responders manages the end-to-end solar and battery storage installations on first responder stations, including selection, design and procurement, installation, and training. Solar panels will produce enough energy to power the critical loads of the first responder stations. They will also charge batteries, which will power those same needs during the evening and during periods of inadequate sunlight. Our work will have both short and long-term social, environmental, and financial impact.
Reliable power along with local partnerships will ensure first responders can save lives and respond to emergencies. The installation will save the fire department an estimated $4,000 on electrical bills and provide a CO2 offset of 11.5 metric tons/year. The project will train over 25 firefighters in solar power and battery storage maintenance.