Call It “Good P.R.”

Tesla, Sonnen initiate Puerto Rico grid rebuild 

50 days after the onslaught of Hurricane Maria knocked out its already fragile power grid, Puerto Rico’s problems are far from over. At least half the island’s residents remain without power, and U.S. assistance provided by FEMA tripped on its first attempt when it was forced to cancel a contract with Whitefish Energy, likely extending the recovery timeline by at least three months.

There is, however, hope—and action—on the ground in Puerto Rico in the form of microgrid projects.

Despite some static about privatization of the island’s electrical grid, two companies have been able to move ahead with small-scale initiatives on the island. Tesla’s first project is a battery storage and solar panel array combination being assembled to power a children’s hospital. The electric car and renewable energy company announced a groundbreaking at Hospital del Nino October 24 via Twitter. Sonnen, meanwhile, has actually been at work longer. The German storage-and-solar manufacturer signed a contract October 2 and began work quickly; its ensuing microgrid projects include one feed that powered a church in Loiza, along with a number of residential installations across the island.

More impressive, though, is Sonnen’s charitable work thus far. It launched its Puerto Rico Energy Security Initiative (PRESI) with the specific aim to restore power to a number of communities around the island with microgrid technology. 15 of these systems have already been donated and installed as of November 4, Clean Technica reported. Sonnen partnered with Pura Energia to install the systems and launched the initiative out of its innovation hub in Atlanta, Georgia, from which it is also shipping relief supplies.

Sunrun, Empowered by Light, Givepower and Zero Mass Water are also doing work on the island, according to UtilityDive. Efforts include solar microgrids, water desalination and purification systems, and water production systems at fire stations on Puerto Rico, in addition to the constant attempts to meet supply needs.

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