The Blinking 12:00 and Puerto Rico’s Renewable Energy Potential

Two days ago I arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I’m here to attend the PRGrid conference with the intention of looking at ways Energy Canvas can grow into markets in the Caribbean. Arriving at the suite, I looked over at the oven to see what time it was and saw the dreaded 12:00 blinking away, taunting me to set the time. What I didn’t know was that it was a futile attempt to apply my expectation on things happening “like home”.

The Lasting Impact of Hurricane Maria on the Electricity Grid

The situation is that since Maria, Puerto Rico has been suffering from very difficult electricity grid issues. These have been causing regular uncontrolled blackouts across the island. The first day of the PRGrid conference was very informative. Unfortunately, for the most part, it was a resounding story of Hurricane Maria exposing the already fragile grid to forces it couldn’t withstand. At the heart of the issue was that the grid was in dire need of investment before the Hurricane Maria as the local utility PREPA struggled with debt and solvency. An ideal situation for a clean slate, starting fresh on what is possible is in their grasp. But like my blinking 12:00 clock in the suite was a reminder of people stuck in the status quo rut with knowledge but a culture of apathy towards San Juan’s now regular generator drone rather than that of their amazing frogs.

The Potiential for Renewable Energy and Microgrids in Puerto Rico

Now that the conference is complete, what is going to happen with the electricity grid in Puerto Rico? There seems to be a strong desire to be more customer centric, including much more renewable energy, more microgrids system architecture and allowing that investment coming from private enterprise. These are things that Energy Canvas can help with. I know it seems a small thing, but I hope some day soon, there won’t be an apathy towards the blinking 12:00 but that every oven clock will tell the correct time whenever you glance its way.

Energy Canvas in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean

Energy Canvas will be helping to make this a reality as we explore the many different markets in the Caribbean with renewable energy consulting and design-build services. Stay tuned as we will be exploring these and other issues associated with the markets.

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